Reflective Insulations Certification

Ask The Expert – Q & ACategory: Building CodesReflective Insulations Certification
RIMA Expert Staff asked 10 months ago

Good evening, we are producers of reflective insulations, we are interested to know the best method to certify our reflective insulations. We know the normative EN 16012 but we know also that in France there is another method of certification – can you give me some information about that method? We would comprehend which method is the best to show the properties/performance of insulation of the reflective insulations. Waiting for your reply, kind regards.

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Best Answer
RIMA Expert Staff answered 10 months ago

At the moment, there is in France and in Europe one standard available which is the EN 16012 (June 2012) already mentioned in your question. This standard indicates how to test the reflective insulation products, depending on their structure and surface. We are waiting for a standard concerning the product itself which will replace a document called CUAP (Common Understanding Assessment Procedure) which was used for many years (since 2006) for the evaluation of the reflective insulation products. This new standard will of course refer to the EN 16012. The new standard is already written and will be published early 2015. In any case, this new standard will describe an “in situ” test which is the idea of some companies manufacturing reflective insulation products.

For about 5 years, there was a huge debate at the European level on in situ tests. The participants on that debate were the certification bodies like CSTB or BBA and some manufacturing companies.

At the moment, the conclusion is that in situ tests are expensive, difficult to reproduce and not representing the true characteristics of the products due to the fact that they are evaluating not only the product but also the building on which they are installed!

There is no doubt that EN 16012 is not adequate for the summer conditions where the reflective insulation product is installed in front of a ventilated air gap! But as this standard refers to the guarded hot plate and the guarded hot box standards, we can admit that this EN 16012 standard is correct for the winter conditions, which is the period where Europe is consuming a lot of energy.

In conclusion, there is no other standard to test the reflective insulation products in Europe than EN 16012. I hope this is helpful to you.