Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Study on transient heat transfer through multilayer thermal insulation: Numerical analysis and experimental investigation


heat transfer, multilayer insulation, reflective foils, thermal radiation, bioclimatic design


This paper reports on a numerical and experimental study of heat transfer phenomena through two different multilayer fibrous insulations for building applications. The investigated samples were composed of different layers of fibrous materials and aluminium foils, placed between one or two air gaps in the vertical dimension. An experimental apparatus (a guarded hot box) has been used to measure heat transfer through the samples, while a finite volume numerical model combined radiation/conduction heat transfer was developed to predict the temperature distribution and heat transfer in such insulation systems comprised of the materials separated by multiple reflective foils. The model takes into account the coupling between the solid conduction of the fibrous system and the gaseous conduction and radiation. The radiation heat transfer through the insulation system has been modelled via the two flux approximation. The numerical results were compared with the experimental data from the guarded hot box for model validation, as well as to assess the effectiveness of the reflective foils in changing the resistance of the insulations. The comparative verification of the model showed that the numerical results were consistent with the experimental data through the environmental conditions under examination.


Tsinghua University Press