SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Magnesium Oxychloride-Based Foam Thermal Insulation: An Initial Investigation


This study is an initial investigation of the properties and performance of magnesium oxychloride-based foam thermal insulation. Tests and observations were performed on samples prepared in the laboratory and also removed from one cavity of a wall of a wood-frame house. The tests to characterize the foam included measurements of density, moisture content, shrink age, and thermal conductivity, and were combined with analysis using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and thermogravimetry techniques.

It was found that the foam had a thermal conductivity comparable to that of other insulations used to retrofit walls of houses. Shrinkage could not be quantified, but was seen to be generally small. The moisture content of the foam removed from the house was about 2%. The results of the analytical measurements indicated that the laboratory-prepared samples and some of those removed from the house were not identical. It was suggested that further analysis be conducted to continue characterization of the foam.

Author Information

Rossiter, WJ
Center for Building Technology, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD
Brown, PW
Center for Building Technology, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD
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Developed by Committee: C16
Pages: 38–51
DOI: 10.1520/STP23297S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5109-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1278-0