The term thermal insulation can refer either to insulation material used to reduce the rate of heat transfer, or the methods and processes used to reduce heat transfer.

Heat energy can be transferred by conduction, convection or radiation. Thermal insulation prevents heat from escaping a container or from entering a container. In other words, thermal insulation can keep an enclosed area such as a building warm, or it can keep the inside of a container cold.

Insulators such as ceramic fiber insulation are used to minimize that transfer of heat energy. The flow of heat can be reduced by addressing one or more of the three mechanisms of heat transfer and is dependent on the physical properties of the material employed to do this.

Refractory Specialties has formulations that can specifically target a specific type of heat transfer such as Amorsil, which while being a very good insulator also is highly reflective of radiant energy. Convective energy transfer is greatly reduced by removing free flowing paths for air. This method is utilized in our Microcell products.