rFoil Reflective Insulation Barn Roof
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rFoil Reflective Insulation

rFoil is made of typical bubble wrap sandwiched between two layers of 99% pure aluminum. rFoil reflects 97% of all radiant heat, which helps keep houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

It can be used in residential construction in attics, walls, ceilings, and radiant floor heating applications.

It is also used in industrial/commercial buildings, agricultural buildings, and warehouses.


Download the NEW rFoil Reflective Insulation Tutorial - Learn about the different places rFoil can be used in your home Right-click (click-and-hold for Mac users) and "Save Link As..."

Get rFoil Reflective Insulation Quote Get rFoil Reflective Insulation Literature
FAQ about rFoil reflective insulation and No-Tear radiant barrier Get rFoil Reflective Insulation Installation Instructions rFoil was on Michael Holigan's Your New House.

Click on the photo above to visit the show's insulation page.

Or CLICK HERE to watch a streaming video about rFoil.


How does rFoil work?

Radiant heat, the major source of heat flow, is energy in the form of infrared waves. It is transmitted from a heat source -- like the sun, a heater, or even your body -- at the speed of light, through the air. A white surface, such as snow, reflects; a black surface absorbs it.

Up to 90% of all summer heat gain in a house comes from radiant heat;
75% of winter heat loss comes from radiant heat.

Typical insulation (such as foam and fiberglass), like most building materials, absorb a large percentage of radiant heat. However, tests have shown that rFoil reflects 97% of radiant heat. This means that it emits (lets through) 3%. But foam and fiberglass will block only 10% of radiant heat, which means it emits 90%.

To better illustrate this, look at the photo below. A piece of rFoil and a piece of R-19 fiberglass were placed under 250 watt heat lamps (radiant heat). After the lamps were on for nearly an hour, there was nearly a 30 degree difference in the two temperatures. This is because fiberglass can only slow heat down, not block it.

What is the R-Value of rFoil?

Single Bubble Foil, a foil/single bubble/foil lamination, is the most common kind of reflective insulation. We'll use this in our discussion.

A 1/4" piece of Single Bubble Foil has an R-Value of 14.3 in a ceiling application, and 9.8 in a wall application. 3" of fiberglass has an R-11, and 6" is an R-19.

But R-Value is a misleading number. R-Value only measures CONDUCTIVE HEAT (heat by physical contact), but remember, 90% of all summer heat gain and 75% of all winter heat loss comes from RADIANT HEAT -- heat that's transmitted from a heat source and moves through the air.

Since heat from the sun can overheat a building in the summer, and heat from a heater can escape a building in the winter, it makes sense to have an insulation that will actually block the heat, rather than slow it down. This is why rFoil works better than regular bulk insulation. When you're trying to keep heat out in the summer, or inside in the winter, fiberglass and foam just won't do it as well as rFoil. This is why R-Value is not always a good indicator of how well insulation works.

insulation comparison photo

Notice how the temperature underneath rFoil is 29º F cooler than the temperature under 6" of fiberglass.

Even though rFoil has a lower R-Value than 6" of fiberglass, it performs better because rFoil is made to stop radiant heat. Fiberglass isn't.

What other benefits does rFoil have?

rFoil is. . .
  • a vapor barrier
  • a radon barrier (this is why Concrete Barrier is a better value than foam insulation)
  • non-toxic
  • not affected by humidity or condensation
  • Class A/Class 1 fire rated
  • easy to install -- no protective garments are necessary
  • virtually indestructible -- rFoil will not collapse, compress, or disintegrate over time (in fact, all rFoil products have a full 15 year manufacturer's warranty)
  • competitively priced
  • less expensive to ship than regular insulation.

Plus, birds, rodents, and insects don't eat it, or steal it for their nests.

What other reflective insulation products do you carry?

There are three other reflective insulation products in the rFoil residential line:

  • No-Tear Radiant Barrier - Nylon-reinforced foil, without the bubbles. It's lightweight, easy to install, and is perforated to allow moisture to escape. No-Tear Radiant Barrier is extremely strong and tear-resistant.
  • rFoil Ruff Rap - White poly on one side, aluminum foil on the other. Use this as a housewrap to keep summer heat out and winter heat in, Ruff Rap is 54" X 200' (all other rFoil products are 48" x 125').
  • Concrete Barrier - A layer of foil between two layers of bubbles, Concrete Barrier will take the place of 2" foam board. It's a vapor barrier, a radon barrier, and doesn't crack or break on uneven surfaces. Plus, it costs anywhere from $.05 to $.20 less than 2" foam board. See "Using rFoil Under Radiant Floor Heating Applications" for more information.

And we're adding new products all the time. Be sure to check back to see what we have available.

How do I install rFoil?

It's easy. All you need are scissors or a utility knife, a ruler, and a straight edge (a 2x4 or 2x2 works great). If you're taping the seams (not necessary if you use No-Tear), use a plastic paddle or 4" block of wood to press the tape, and make sure it sticks.

We have installation instructions available for download or online.


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WE International, Inc.
PO Box 97
Syracuse, Indiana 46567 USA
Tel: (574) 457-3066
Fax: (574) 457-8807
Email: weexport@we-intl.com