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Is this insulation ok to use?
Seems like I saw someone mention using insulation from house heater but I wanted to make sure this is ok.

There is a old house heater in the workshop here and I'd like to use the insulation in it if possible. The roaster will be a small drum type with a relatively thin outer shell. The insulation will be sandwiched between between roll sheet aluminum and the shell.


Here is a pic of the insulation:
Beaner attached the following image:
And for whatever it's worth, here's the heater coils:
Beaner attached the following image:
Koffee Kosmo
If its made of fibreglass it will be OK as that's what they use for ovens
but I recommend a layer of aluminium foil to one side


I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
Blog -

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
Thanks KK.

I was confident with the fiberglass itself but was unsure of the coating it has on one side of it. I figured since it's used in a heater then it must be heat resistent enough but it never hurts to ask.

I've had plenty of experience with fiberglass and is why I'll make very sure it's sealed. I'm surprised I don't have respiratory problems after all the fiberglass dust I breathed in my younger years.
FWIW, for any one building from scratch, an excellent product for insulating is Kaowool Blanket.
It is used to insulated high-temperature kilns, etc. It is flexible like cotton batting, but also can be hardened to form a specific shape.
See http://thermalcer...t-products It's pricey, but hard to beat.
It's probably fine, but some testing might be a good idea. The walls of home heaters may be far enough away from any flame or heating element that they didn't need to worry about high temperatures, plus there's a lot of just cool-to-warm air flow.

The coating is not foil? Generally any sprayed or paper/film/glue layer (maybe both) reduces the temp range a lot. Maybe you could cut some small squares and see if:

1. Does any part of it burn rapidly from a match? That might indicate the insulation could cause a real big problem from a little chaff fire. Even if it's just from dust accumulation over previous years.

2. Does any part of it ignite or melt while sitting in a coffee roaster or other oven to experience the highest possible temperatures?

Of course you probably want to mount the coating side away from the heat source. Is that the way it was installed in the home heater?
11 years old... forever!
>home-built roasters and fair trade
I performed a test today. I lined the drum housing on the inside with just the fiberglass, no aluminum sheet betwen the insulation and heat elements yet. And no, the coating is not foil but spray on I guess. I guess I could add a layer of foil between the fiberglass and the aluminum sheet when the time comes.

The two elements were just resting on the bottom of the housing, they will be mounted on the bottom for the construction. There will be no insulation on the bottom.

Man, what a difference the insulation makes. I let the temp get up to 438 and I saw no effect on the fiberglass. The elements were about 1 inch away from the fiberglass, where the fiberglass meets the bottom of the housing that is.

As you can see in the previous picture the dark coating is on the inside facing the coils. I will try a flame test tomorrow.

I'm gonna have to go back through the forum and check the options for bypassing the on/off nature of the elements when the temp is turned down.
Edited by Beaner on 08/29/2009 9:22 PM
Hey, Beaner, help me understand what you mean by "bypassing the on/off nature of the elements"? Are you looking for a circuit to do that - cycle the heater on and off?

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
The elements are cycled on & off at a frequency to maintain an average dialed in temperature if it's not set to full "on". I'd rather be able to control how hot the elements get in a linear fashion. You know, like a burner flame.

I'm not very knowledgeable on heating elements but I assume most toater ovens operate this way or does it just depend on what type of element is used?

I guess it's a nichrome wire since it is a wire running through some type of tube that I assume is ceramic. Maybe I should go take a pic of it.
Beaner (!)
Most any fiberglass insulation will work. Better to take off the backing though. The biggest issue I've had with it is moisture, since any leaks from the airflow into the stuff will ruin it by changing its properties and possibly causing mold issues. I would suggest getting some new stuff that has not had years of dust blown across it. Make sure the chambers are air tight before adding the fiberglass.
please make note that fiberglass insulation is defeated by compressing it. The air cells are what make the insulation work. A 6" batt with an R rating of 26 won't be 26 if it's squeezed to 1 inch. Also the backings are there for specific purposes such as air and,or moisture barriers. Best bet for roaster would be a spray(foam) insulation which has had it's DD done .
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