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Old 09-05-2010, 12:06 AM
tankman1989 tankman1989 is offline
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Default Could cardboard be used as insulation?



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I was thinking of materials which could be used for insulation that could be found for free. I am mainly thinking of corrugated cardboard not plain board cardboard that is used on things like soda box cases/cartons. The cardboard could be placed between vertical studs and glued together. The air space in the cardboard should provide some type of insulating factor. Cardboard should be able to be gotten for free from a lot of retail stores or restaurants although some may have dumpsters specifically for cardboard which they receive money upon collection, so ask permission before taking this. It may be cheaper to buy the cardboard from the dumpsters than buy insulation as the average price is about $20/ton.

Thoughts?
Old 09-05-2010, 12:21 AM
FarmerJohn FarmerJohn is offline
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I dont see why not hobos use it all the time what exactly are you planning on building and whats the weather like?
Old 09-05-2010, 12:28 AM
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yea it can be used but if its for a house you will not pass inspection.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:32 AM
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cardboard is actually a very good insulator. it has air pockets inside of it and is wind proof as said above homeless people use it in brutally cold winters and make it through.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:50 AM
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Corrugated cardboard is good insulation.
During my first tour in Korea, I lived in a tent.
I put 3 or four flattened cardboard boxes on this folding cot, I slept on. It really made a big difference, along with an old feather filled GI mummy bag and about six army blankets, you could stay sort of warm, at night.
It didn't help my beer, I kept under the cot...it froze, most nights.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:09 AM
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actualy paper and cardboards can make verry good insulator .
snow is also a verry good insulator (if abundant )
clothing in layers also styrofoam would be good insulation i think
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:09 AM
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The homeless here use cardboard to sit on to stop the cold coming from the ground and often build shelters out of them.

News paper is great as well, if you screw it up and put it in your clothes its a great insulation - I knew this before 'The Day After Tomorrow' but it is in one of the library scenes.

Polystrene is also good, if you have tropical fish tanks you can lag the outside when the electricity goes off and thus keep the heat of the water in.

NB: Patchwork quilts that use a material, wadding, and material sandwich are also brilliantly warm. So my thinking is material may also be a good insulation.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:23 AM
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I always keep corrugated cardboard with me in my vehicles in the winter. I use it to stand on if I'm going somewhere where I'll be standing outside on the cold ground for any length of time. It helps stop the conduction of the cold into the soles of boots.

Double or triple layers also provide some cushion on hard surfaces. I used to use it on the concrete floor when doing mechanical work under a lift.....forgot to move it one day when using a torch though. Got it stamped out before it spread.
Old 09-05-2010, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
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I dont see why not hobos use it all the time what exactly are you planning on building and whats the weather like?
I was thinking about using it in a work shed. The temps don't get too low, maybe low 30's. I figure a few inches on the walls, between the studs would keep wind out and maybe some heat from the sun on really sunny days. I'm sure it will work on the roof as well. The layers probably don't even need to be glued if they stay in place from friction but they might shrink/expand in extreme temp swings (shrink in lower temps I would think). If you decide to glue the layers you don't need to use a lot, just a few dabs to keep it in place.
Old 09-05-2010, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tankman1989 View Post
I was thinking about using it in a work shed. The temps don't get too low, maybe low 30's. I figure a few inches on the walls, between the studs would keep wind out and maybe some heat from the sun on really sunny days. I'm sure it will work on the roof as well. The layers probably don't even need to be glued if they stay in place from friction but they might shrink/expand in extreme temp swings (shrink in lower temps I would think). If you decide to glue the layers you don't need to use a lot, just a few dabs to keep it in place.

Couple of concerns about using it in walls...it is untreated and prone to insect infestation and it is also hygroscopic and will get soggy and mouldy with any high humidity days/nights.

I would never use it for that application except as a last resort. An inert styrofoam insulation or reflective bubble wrap type would be much better and durable.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammo View Post
Corrugated cardboard is good insulation.
During my first tour in Korea, I lived in a tent.
I put 3 or four flattened cardboard boxes on this folding cot, I slept on. It really made a big difference, along with an old feather filled GI mummy bag and about six army blankets, you could stay sort of warm, at night.
It didn't help my beer, I kept under the cot...it froze, most nights.
Boy that brings me back.

cardboard is great as long as it doesn't get wet. and when used under body weight will eventually collapse.

I find that packing eggcrate foam is probably the best insulator- and it feels heavenly.

Any of you with older sleeping bags that find them starting to 'go flat' as the feathers or other materials settle to one end, try crushing and adding Styrofoam peanuts, then sewing the bag back up.
Old 09-05-2010, 06:28 AM
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good card board, tarps, and duct tape can do wonders...
Old 09-05-2010, 06:29 AM
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if you encase it in plastic to keep it from collecting moisture it might work better, also think about fire safety.. the stuff will burn pretty quickly...
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by methemom View Post
if you encase it in plastic to keep it from collecting moisture it might work better, also think about fire safety.. the stuff will burn pretty quickly...
This is the biggest problem. It's analogous to saying, in effect, "Hey! Let's build a house out of flammable stuff!"

Cellulose insulation (cardboard is cellulose) that is blown into attics is treated with a flame retardant. It's also exposed to the air on the top side, so moisture can move out of it.

But in a wall? Not so good. It *is* a good insulator, just not as good as other stuff.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammo View Post
Corrugated cardboard is good insulation.
During my first tour in Korea, I lived in a tent.
I put 3 or four flattened cardboard boxes on this folding cot, I slept on. It really made a big difference, along with an old feather filled GI mummy bag and about six army blankets, you could stay sort of warm, at night.
It didn't help my beer, I kept under the cot...it froze, most nights.
A beer slushy hadnt thought of that since I was a teen and hid my beer out under the Sage Bush in the desert.
Old 09-05-2010, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankman1989 View Post
I was thinking about using it in a work shed. The temps don't get too low, maybe low 30's. I figure a few inches on the walls, between the studs would keep wind out and maybe some heat from the sun on really sunny days. I'm sure it will work on the roof as well. The layers probably don't even need to be glued if they stay in place from friction but they might shrink/expand in extreme temp swings (shrink in lower temps I would think). If you decide to glue the layers you don't need to use a lot, just a few dabs to keep it in place.
for an application like that i dont see why it shouldnt work I would be interested for temp readings in the winter inside and outside I would recomend that after you put it inbetween studs put a sheet of plywood over it to keep mice or what not from chewing it
Old 09-05-2010, 12:21 PM
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Cardboard works fine as an insulator. They find a lot of things used in walls when they tear them out on old houses to remodel, from cardboard to newspapers, to you name it. The big problem is moisture. You'll need to work out effective vapor barriers and ventilation or it'll turn to goo inside the wall.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:53 PM
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Do this only if you have a really good fire insurance policy and wish to sell this house.

elgin
Old 09-05-2010, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
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Do this only if you have a really good fire insurance policy and wish to sell this house.

elgin
if you read he said he would be using it in a work shed not a house
Old 04-25-2015, 10:10 AM
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Wink spritz with boric acid

If you grind (rent a hammer mill with 1/8 under screen) the cardboard up (or grind paper for that matter) and give it a spritz of 2% boric acid mixed with water from an old Windex bottle it will resist flame quite well. You don't want to get carried away, just enough to make it settle down and not want to fly away when you blow on it and wrap the gap between the studs and against the outside wall with Tyvek and then cover the inside surface with plastic you will have a very good performing and cheap insulation project. The boric acid solution resists the flame and the tyvek allows moisture to move in one direction (outward) while being water proof in the other direction. Keep any electric outlets separated from the boric acid treated ground paper/cardboard mixture with plastic to prevent corrosion. This type of treated insulation does pass inspection in many locations. Its called blown cellulose. Good luck.....
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