Natural fibre (or fiber) insulation covers a variety of insulation products that are derived from natural, organic materials such as wood fibre, cellulose, wool, hemp, cotton and flax. Natural fibre insulation products can often be used as replacements for mineral- or petrochemical-based insulation.
When used appropriately, natural fibre insulation materials can deliver thermal and acoustic insulation comparable or even better to other insulation materials, but with a lower or potentially negative carbon footprint and less health issues during installation. Tests have shown that these environmentally friendly insulation materials, when packed together, are acoustically and thermally more effective than mineral wool.
Many natural materials also have the added benefits of being breathable, improving internal air quality and reducing condensation levels. As airtight levels improve through requirements in building regulations and the increased use of eco-friendly and energy efficient standards like Passivhaus, toxicity and air quality are of greater concern.
These natural fibre insulation materials need to be treated with a fire retardant chemical to comply with the building legislation requirements. Boron based chemicals were the most common used fire retardants in this industry but due to the listing of boron containing chemicals in 2010 on the ECHA candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC-REACH regulation), these chemicals needed to be replaced by alternative chemicals.
The first alternatives were based on ammonia containing salts like ammonium phosphates and sulfates but since there is a market restriction for construction products on the release of ammonia, these alternative chemicals were also not suitable anymore to protect natural insulation materials against fire.
For above mentioned reasons, Magma developed some new fire retardant solutions which comply with the latest environmental considerations.