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Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

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  • Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

    Hello,

    I am in Northern California, planning a 42" oven for the backyard. I will be using 8" wide CMU for the base support and a concrete slab/insulated concrete slab for the dome hearth base. Outside the oven dome I will use 4" wide CMU to build the walls outside the dome which will be faced with a stone/brick combo.

    My questions are regarding the Pearlite or Vermiculite insulating parge over the dome and the mix used as the insulating base
    1. Is one better than the other (Vermiculite vs. Pearlite)
    2. For the hearth base, what mix do I use?
    3. For the dome insulation parge, what mix do I use?
    4. For the dome insulation parge, how thick?

    Also, could someone provide a link to some build pics showing a dome insulation parge? I tried doing a search here and got so many threads that I kinda just kept going off topic checking things out!!

    Thanks for any help, Eric.
    Thanks, Eric

    My 42" dome build pics in Napa

    My build thread part I

    My build thread part II

  • #2
    Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

    1. Perlite is a marginally better insulator, but vermiculite is easier to handle.
    2. Usually 5:1 for hearth base
    3. I like to use 10:1 for dome insul. because more cement means poorer insulation and 10:1 is enough to hold it together.
    4. Depends how much insulation you want, but don't go less than a couple of inches or it won't stick together that well.
    I'm sure there will be folk who disagree with my response. There is more than one way to cook a goose, skin a cat, etc. etc.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

      I've found that for every 10L (2 gallons for those imperialist neanderthals) of vermiculite, use 3L (about the standard beer consumption on a Sat. night) of water.
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

        Please allow me to jump in with a related question. Why use any portland cement in the dome insulation perlite/vermiculite?? Many of the builders enclose their WFO dome in a small house with a roof. If the portland cement reduces the insullation efficiency of the perlite/vermiculite; why isn't it just poured in as dry insullation?? This is how it is used when insulating concrete block walls and attics. Is it for fear that an exterior water leak may wet the perlite/vermiculite? Since it is inorganic, it won't rot. Is there a concern the wet vermiculite will settle?? It would dry out with subsequent oven use. A Portland/vermiculite mix will also absorb water, but would continue to hold its shape. -----Any input would be much appreciated. Thank you. Glosta

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

          Glosta, I believe the vermiculite is generally used without cement inside enclosures; that's certainly how I'm planning to use it.

          Cheers,
          Mick
          My Clay Oven build:
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/...dah-12821.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

            Why use any portland cement in the dome insulation perlite/vermiculite?
            A lot of builders don't want to go the trouble to build an enclosure, want the look of a semi-sphere, or want a less visually massive object in their backyards. It's quite difficult to build a freestanding dome enclosure to encase loose insulation, hence the vermiculite concrete.

            why isn't it just poured in as dry insullation?
            Pouring in loose vermiculite/perlite is a good approach. It can be surprisingly fluid, so make sure any gap in the enclosure big enough to let light through is thoroughly sealed
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

              Glosta,
              You are correct, only use the cement and water if you are doing an igloo. I was assuming the original post was referring to an igloo. Pouring the stuff in dry for an enclosure is simpler and also eliminates the problem of having to remove the moisture in the layer once it has set.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

                I think the answer is accessibility as both perlite and vermiculite are similar for this use. I used perlite and a lot of it. I was happy with the results.

                do a search for perlcrete. I mixed the cement with the water first, then folded in the perlite until it was like lumpy oatmeal. (somewhere there is a thread for my second build.... the Benjamia Bakehouse oven where I used this. The material set up fine and floated in water)

                You don't need a lot of cement to make an insulation layer...it is not structural. If you are going to use dry insulation, vermiculite might be better. You have to make sure that you have all the cracks sealed or it can run out like sand!

                The one rule here is thicker is better. I put a 6 inch layer in the hearth and had quite a thick outer dome of used insulation firebrick with perlcrete over it.


                Good luck!
                sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

                  Originally posted by dmun View Post
                  A lot of builders don't want to go the trouble to build an enclosure, want the look of a semi-sphere, or want a less visually massive object in their backyards. It's quite difficult to build a freestanding dome enclosure to encase loose insulation, hence the vermiculite concrete.
                  No semi-sphere for me on this one,

                  I will be building a complete vertical wall enclosure that will be faced with rock and brick outside the oven dome. This enclosure will be built from 4" wide CMU block above the hearth with the standard 8" wide CMU as the hearth support. And yes this thing is getting big (I am currently designing it in AutoCAD).

                  With this setup, do I need 6" (min) of dry pearlite or vermiculite?


                  Thanks again, Eric
                  Thanks, Eric

                  My 42" dome build pics in Napa

                  My build thread part I

                  My build thread part II

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

                    Eric, the concrete blocks will not improve insulation; they will soak up lots of heat if you don't insulate to the same levels as commonly discussed around here.

                    Just remember that blanket/wool insulation is most efficient, and that dry pearlite/vermiculite is more efficient than when mixed with cement. But a ton of concrete isn't going to keep heat in your dome.
                    My Clay Oven build:
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/...dah-12821.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

                      If the size is getting too big, you could use 2 inch blanket around the bottom then switch to dry vermiculite/ perlite once the clearance from the inside of the enclosure wall to the dome reaches 4 inches or so.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

                        Originally posted by BackyardPermaculture View Post
                        Eric, the concrete blocks will not improve insulation; they will soak up lots of heat if you don't insulate to the same levels as commonly discussed around here.
                        I am not using the CMU as insulation, but I need to know how much pearlite/Vermiculite insulation I need between the inner face of the CMU and the outer surface of the oven dome. 4"? 6"? More?

                        As this effects my overall oven building size.



                        Originally posted by BackyardPermaculture View Post
                        Just remember that blanket/wool insulation is most efficient, and that dry pearlite/vermiculite is more efficient than when mixed with cement. But a ton of concrete isn't going to keep heat in your dome.
                        I have access to concrete, CMU, brick and rock so I probably wont be using the blanket style of insulation.

                        Thanks, Eric
                        Thanks, Eric

                        My 42" dome build pics in Napa

                        My build thread part I

                        My build thread part II

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

                          Hi Eric,

                          I have access to concrete, CMU, brick and rock so I probably wont be using the blanket style of insulation.
                          Cool - but none of those masonry materials is much of an insulator, so you still need something like dry vermiculite and/or a blanket. Somewhere on here, James has statistics on how much of each you need. The blanket is much more efficient, so if space is an issue that's the way to go. My own setup is 4 inches of rockwool blanket on top, and on the sides I've got 2 inches of wool and 2 inches of dry vermiculite - but I haven't finished curing yet so can't vouch for performance.

                          Just keep searching these forums and you'll find lots of info on what various people have tried.

                          Cheers,
                          Mick
                          My Clay Oven build:
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/...dah-12821.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pearlite/Vermiculite Dome Insulation questions

                            Originally posted by BackyardPermaculture View Post
                            Hi Eric,


                            Cool - but none of those masonry materials is much of an insulator, so you still need something like dry vermiculite and/or a blanket....

                            Cheers,
                            Mick
                            I dont plan on using the CMU as insulation, and that is why I was asking about how much Vermiculite.

                            Thanks again, Eric.
                            Thanks, Eric

                            My 42" dome build pics in Napa

                            My build thread part I

                            My build thread part II

                            Comment

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