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Old 04-12-2015, 11:32 PM   #21
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taskswap, all good points and I've used micro as a filler in epoxy many times. Seven years ago when I was doing my own research I found it odd that micro went by different names and was in two distinct camps- insulation and filler and never should they meet. So I looked up 3M's website and they do manufacture it in different sizes (please forgive me my memory's a little fuzzy about the details) but it's all the same thing - tiny hollow glass bubbles. They even specify it as an insulator when applied properly.

So, it makes an excellent light weight filler. And I would argue that it does work as an insulator - what does closed cell foam have in common with hollow glass bubbles in suspension?

I'm not arguing that it makes a huge difference because it's not applied as thick as foam; all I'm saying is that it's cheap enough to add to paint and it will make enough of a difference to be noticeable. Again, not the Hytech stuff.....
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojiewoojie View Post
What does closed cell foam have in common with hollow glass bubbles in suspension?
.
They both trap small air pockets. One is just not thick enough to detect any measurable results.

Glass is also a conductor of heat and cold, not a insulator.

I always rate a material by it's thermal mass.

Styrofoam has almost no thermal mass. It is unable to absorb the heat and cold. There for Styrofoam won't transmit that energy to it's surroundings.

Glass has a high thermal mass. Almost as bad as steel. It will absorb and transfer the energy to it's surroundings.

This is why the glass bubbles were made to be fillers, not insulators.

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Old 04-13-2015, 10:35 AM   #23
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At the same time, all insulators are measured in terms of thermal resistance per unit of thickness. Micro isn't magic, and in the millimeter of thickness you'd have in a few coats of paint I seriously doubt you'd get any kind of significant R-value increase. I know a lot of people put stock in these things, but if anybody ever actually did a serious, scientific evaluation of them I would bet heavily that most or nearly all of the effect came from the color and reflectivity of the paint, not the balloons themselves actually preventing conductive heat transfer.
You mean like this?
http://www.cchrc.org/sites/default/f...aint_Final.pdf
It's a decent scientific test of 2 products; Nansulate and Super Therm. Same **** as Hytech (which are all just overpriced micro balloons). The conclusion? Not worth your time or money

The "insulating" effect that people are feeling is, as you said, due to the reflectivity of the white paint. Instead of absorbing the sun's rays the colour white bounces many of them away. Thickness of the paint does play a part, though, since it slightly raises the heated paint layer off of the metal, but it's next to useless when it comes to actually retaining heat or cold inside the bus.

People need to realize this: even the best possible insulating product on the earth will make an immeasurable difference when applied at 1/32" thick. Rigid foam is some of the best stuff we have, but even at 1/2" it's not terribly effective. You need several inches.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #24
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Haha.. I just came across this article: An ‘Insulating’ Paint Salesman Is Tripped Up By His Own Product. It's a funny read.

I also like this comment from the bottom of the article:
"The only insulating this paint does is to insulate the consumer from reality, logic and the laws of thermodynamics. Fun, insightful article."
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:51 AM   #25
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I was just thinking.. I want to see one of those ceramic bead salesmen mix his product with black paint and cover his entire house Let's see how well the stuff works then!
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:37 PM   #26
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I'm not an engineer and I'm not going to argue other than to say that I and others that got on my bus noticed a difference in temperature. Several people (who drove buses with white roofs everyday) didn't know the bus had been painted. That bus and the bus I drive every week day had/has a white painted roof. The difference to me was noticeable. Not much, but noticeable.

I took the time to read that test you posted and also looked up 3M's data sheet. You're right, they don't sell it specifically as an insulator. So I apologize for that. Like I said, it's been a long time. However, the 3M data sheet says this: "They (micro) also produce stable voids, which results in low thermal conductivity and a low dielectric constant." So you're right, it's not a specific property of the micro, but how it's used.

We all agree: color makes a big difference. Thickness of the material makes a big difference.

But jazty, your own test showed a difference in temperature between two coats with no micro and two coats with the micro. Four coats without micro was better than two coats with the micro. It would be logical to assume that four coats with micro would be better than four without.

How much does a gallon of paint cost? How much does the micro cost? The next time I go to paint my roof, regardless of how many coats I put on I'm going to buy some micro to throw in. Two or three degrees isn't much but it's worth six or seven dollars. (Ouch. I called to see how much shipping was for 5 quarts- $17 to Tennessee) Eh..., still worth it. And hey, if the bus flips upside down and lands in water or on an electric wire it'll be more bouyant and will resist the electric shock better because of those "stable voids"...
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:00 PM   #27
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But jazty, your own test showed a difference in temperature between two coats with no micro and two coats with the micro. Four coats without micro was better than two coats with the micro. It would be logical to assume that four coats with micro would be better than four without.
Very true, but the same logic can be worked against this argument. 4 coats + micro is as good as 6 coats without micro, but the pure paint solution still produces a smoother, more durable result.

For the price of the micro beads, you could purchase a gallon or two more paint.

An illustration: Ways to spend your $100 roof painting budget
- $100 spent on white elastomeric paint for 6 coats.
- $75 spent on white elastomeric paint for 4 coats, $25 spent on micro beads.

Both perform the same in the sun. One is a nicer end product, but requires a bit more work.

You can increment these values any way you want. From my experience, the paint-only solution is the better one.

BTW, these aren't exact prices. Everyone will have to do their own research to counter in shipping and/or local prices.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:18 PM   #28
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No offense intended, boojiewoojie. Glass bubbles aren't a 0-effect. It's just a tiny fraction compared to foam and there's a lot of snake-oil around expensive paints that include them (or ceramics) that pretty definitely include misleading advertising. Rubs people the wrong way.

I DO think there's a lot of value in elastomerics. They're hugely valuable in avoiding leaks. I did that to my current camper and I'm definitely doing the same on the skoolie. One possible negative is I've found them a bit harder to keep mildew-free in damp environments. The slight texture seems to give mildew more "hold" than a glossy, smooth coat of pure paint. <shrug> I'll try a mildewcide in the mix this time and see how it goes. Otherwise it's a yearly chore for me to clorox it and wash it off. (I'm in a very damp environment.)
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:12 PM   #29
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LOL. I'm gonna put on TEN coats!!!...
Ok, Ok... I guess the snake oil bit me a little bit.

So just put on a thicker coat(s) of white whatever and you'll see some benefits. That's good. And make sure you raise your roof...

The expensive paint with it's obviously misleading claims definitely rubbed me the wrong way back then.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:13 PM   #30
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If you were running a non vented propane heater, non vented means no chimney out side of the bus, you were pouring water into the air. I can make the interior of my three car garage soaking wet using a non vented propane heater. That is why I am installing an old style vented camper heater in my little bus. It may be inefficient, but it is safe and isn't a steambath generator. just my 2 cents worth.
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