ASTM C653 - 97(2012)

    Standard Guide for Determination of the Thermal Resistance of Low-Density Blanket-Type Mineral Fiber Insulation

    Active Standard ASTM C653 | Developed by Subcommittee: C16.30

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.06


    Buy Standard (PDF)
    6 pages
    $42.00
    Buy Standard (Print)
    6 pages
    $42.00

    Historical (view previous versions of standard)


    ASTM C653

    Significance and Use

    This guide provides a method to determine the thermal performance of low-density blanket-type insulation. It may be used for the purposes of quality assurance, certification, or research.

    The thermal resistance of low-density insulation depends significantly on the density, the thickness, and thermal conductivity. Typical low-density, mineral-fiber insulation for buildings may vary in density from one specimen to the next.

    Thermal tests are time-consuming in comparison with density and thickness measurements. Low-density insulation material is produced in large quantities. A typical lot would be a truckload or the amount necessary to insulate a house.

    The relatively low unit cost of this product and the relatively high cost of thermal resistance testing makes it cost-effective to test only a small percentage of the product area. It is recommended that there be a determination of the density that is representative of a lot by the measurement of the average density of a statistically representative sampling.

    A fewer number of thermal measurements are then made to determine the apparent thermal conductivity at the previously determined representative density. The essential significance of this guide is that a large lot of variable material is best characterized by: (a) determining the representative density, and by (b) determining the thermal property at this representative density with a small number of thermal measurements.

    Building insulation products are commonly manufactured in thicknesses ranging from 19 to 330 mm (0.75 to 13 in.) inclusive. Experimental work has verified that there is a dependence of λapp on thickness for some low density materials.

    The upper limit of test thickness for specimens evaluated using Test Methods C177, C518, and C1114 is established based upon the apparatus design, overall dimensions, expected thermal resistivity level and desired target accuracy. The testing organization is responsible for applying these restrictions when evaluating a product to ensure that the results meet applicable product labels and any existing regulatory requirements.(2)

    Extrapolation of the apparent thermal conductivity or the thermal resistance beyond the ranges of thickness or density of products tested is not valid.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide describes the calculation and interpolation of a thermal resistance value for low-density blanket-type insulation material at a particular density and thickness having been selected as representative of the product. It requires measured values of this average density and thickness, as well as apparent thermal conductivity values determined by either Test Method C177, C518, or C1114.

    1.2 This guide applies to a density range for mineral-fiber material of roughly 6.4 to 48 kg/m3 (0.4 to 3.0 lb/ft3). It is primarily intended to apply to low-density, mineral-fiber mass insulation batts and blankets, exclusive of any membrane facings. Apparent thermal conductivity data for these products are commonly reported at a mean temperature of 23.9°C (75°F) and a hot-to-cold plate temperature difference of 27.8°C (50°F) or 22.2°C (40°F).

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C167 Test Methods for Thickness and Density of Blanket or Batt Thermal Insulations

    C168 Terminology Relating to Thermal Insulation

    C177 Test Method for Steady-State Heat Flux Measurements and Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Guarded-Hot-Plate Apparatus

    C518 Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Meter Apparatus

    C1045 Practice for Calculating Thermal Transmission Properties Under Steady-State Conditions

    C1114 Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Thin-Heater Apparatus


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.120.99 (Other standards related to protection of and in buildings)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 30141508(Fiber insulation)


    DOI: 10.1520/C0653-97R12

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    ASTM C653

    Citing ASTM Standards
    Back to Top