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Rockwool vs Mineral Fibre Panel Insulation – What’s The Difference?

Mineral Fibre Core Panel

For many building owners that require passive fire protection, finding out exactly what is needed can be a maze of information. For this type of project, a one-size-fits-all approach can’t be applied, as often the unique insurance and Building Regulation requirements determine what should be installed. As every building is made up differently, it’s important to find the solution that provides the correct level of protection.

When you’re researching the type of installation you need, the terms ‘Rockwool’ and ‘Mineral Fibre’ may pop up quite frequently, but what do they mean? Are there any differences between them as firewall solutions? What’s best for your project? Let’s find out.

A Stone Wool Insulation

Both ‘Rockwool’ and ‘mineral fibre’ are terms that are often used interchangeably, but essentially, they share the same material make-up – stone wool – where melted natural rock is spun into long fibre strands, captured and condensed into a high-density mat. As a non-combustible core, this provides a robust and durable solution for effective fire and sound resistance, with benefits that don’t reduce over time.

Most composite panels manufactured utilising a mineral fibre core successfully meet BS EN ISO 13501-1 Euroclass A1 standard, the highest grading in accordance to EN ISO 1182 combustibility tests. This process involves a combination of up to five assessments determining key factors such as heat levels, flame spread and smoke release.

Mineral fibre itself, and most of the accompanying panel facings, are fully recyclable, providing maximum environmental sustainability and a solid foundation for buildings aiming to achieve a high BREEAM rating.

Why Rockwool?

Rockwool, as an insulation manufacturer, is just one brand of mineral fibre insulation that can be used as a high-performance core for fire-resisting sandwich panels.

We all say we’ll ‘Google it’ nowadays rather than simply just ‘use a search engine’, don’t we? The principle is the same here – make an enquiry about ‘Rockwool panelling’ when actually any type of adequate mineral fibre system can be what you need. 

When working out the type of panel required for your project, it may be prevalent to assume that Rockwool is the answer, but as simply one manufacturer of the mineral fibre family, alternatives should be equally considered. While it’s certainly very popular with composite panel manufacturers, the likes of Knauf Insulation also supply stone wool for mineral fibre systems.

It’s important to remember that there will be slight variances in thermal and acoustic properties between different mineral fibre cores, often used by the leading panel manufacturers such as Eurobond, Trimo and PAROC. Therefore, getting project-specific design and technical advice from your LPS accredited firewall installer ensures that you’ll be getting the correct materials for your needs.

As experts in the composite panel industry for over 70 years, Stancold can reliably ensure that the materials supplied and installed for your project meet the thermal and acoustic performance requirements specified. Our team can offer unrivalled technical advice and make recommendations based on the structure of your building and your needs, proposing panel systems of 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 170mm, 200mm and 240mm.

For more information on Stancold’s work using fire-rated partitioning, please don’t hesitate to give Shaun Jones a call on 07821 152 663 or send us an enquiry.

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