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Perlite vs Expanded Perlite or Vermiculite - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Perlite vs Expanded Perlite or Vermiculite

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  • Perlite vs Expanded Perlite or Vermiculite

    What is the difference in terms of insulating factor? Most of you out there, I assume, are using expanded Perlite or what I know as Vermiculite. Is that a true assumption? Even so, how much insulating factor difference is there in the two. I'm sure people are using both.
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  • #2
    Re: Perlite vs Expanded Perlite or Vermiculite

    Perlite is a naturally occurring mineral that looks like this:

    As far as I know it has little or no insulation value.
    When crushed and heated, it pops like popcorn and produces the little lightweight white spheres that we are talking about in oven building.
    Vermiculite is also a heated mineral, but it's brown in color, and the chunks are cubic instead of spherical.

    They both work fine for oven insulation. Outside the US there may be some question of whether vermiculite is asbestos free, as the two minerals can be found in the same formations. For this reason, I'd stick with perlite if you can get it.
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    • #3
      Re: Perlite vs Expanded Perlite or Vermiculite

      Expanded Perlite has an R value of about 4 per inch of thickness. Vermiculite has an R value of about 3.4 per inch of thickness. Perlite also tends to be cheaper.

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      • #4
        Re: Perlite vs Expanded Perlite or Vermiculite

        I found the perlite was more "workable" in terms of screeding and leveling.

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