How was ROCKWOOL insulation discovered?
It sounds improbable, but the raw ingredient for stone wool insulation is a 200 million year old rock. Basalt is actually a base rock from when the Northern Hemisphere was first laid down.
Around the Pacific Rim and Hawaii, in particular, volcanic activity produces violent eruptions of dust pumice and strands of a material, which the locals refer to as Queen Pele’s hair. It is formed as the molten lava falls through a cold air draft. It was around 1900 that scientists started to look more closely at the material as a potential insulant for a range of applications. The tufts had been carried by the wind and were dangling from trees and bushes.
A new material had been discovered – a material that unites the durability of rock with the insulating properties of wool. The clever part was in recreating a mini volcano in factory conditions, to produce the wool in commercially viable quantities.
It is this very rock that is used today as the primary ingredient of ROCKWOOL stone wool, where the rock is heated to a temperature existing in an erupting volcano before the molten lava is spun into stone fibres.
To explain this process in more detail, we have created a ROCKWOOL Origins video. Click here to view