Mineral Wool details and suppliers
Mineral wool is often referred to as rockwool, much in the same way that many people call vacuum cleaners ‘hoovers’. In reality, Hoover and Rockwool are trade names: http://www.rockwool.com/ Mineral wool insulation products suitable for bass traps can be made from rock or glass fibres.
Stack of mineral wool slabs, end on view
The light and fluffy pink or yellow fibreglass (fiberglass or glass fiber) sold as 'loft insulation' and usually packed in a roll, is of insufficient density and therefore not suitable for making bass traps.
Size and Density
Mineral wool slab sizes vary from country to country, in most of Europe they come in 60 x 120cm slabs with a thickness range of 2.5cm to 10cm. The Americans tend to use Imperial measurements and their slabs are not an exact match for European ones.
Density is typically between 30 (1.87lb/ft³) and 200 (12.5lb/ft³) kilogram per cubic metre. In general, 200 kg/m³ (12.5 lb/ft³) is considered too heavy for bass traps and therefore a waste of money. Many people recommend somewhere between 64 kg/m³ (4 lb/ft³) and 128 kg/m³ (8 lb/m³).
Mineral wool is made from very fine fibres and they can be an irritant to both exposed skin and lungs if the fibres are breathed in. It is wise to cover up and use a mask when working with mineral wool products. One way to minimize fibres floating in the air is to spray the slabs with a dilute water based glue solution; white PVA wood glue in a 10:1 ratio. Alternatively, dilute emulsion paint sprayed onto the slabs will also bind the fibres. Don’t attempt to paint it on with a brush or you will most likely end up with sticky mess!
In America, Owens Corning manufactures a range of mineral wool products suitable for making bass traps from: http://www.owenscorning.com/
In the UK, it is often possible to negotiate a good deal on a quantity of packs of mineral wool slabs from one of the many Travis Perkins depots dotted around the country: http://www.travisperkins.co.uk/
An alternative source in the UK is Knauf Insulation:
In Greece, mineral wool is called Petrobambaka; the literal translation is “stone cotton”. It can be found at many builders merchants or specialist acoustics supplies companies. Fibran SA of Greece manufacture a range of mineral wool products and market them under the Geolan brand:
© Tim Rainey 2009
Last updated: 2 January 2010
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