Vapour Permeable Membrane
A vapour permeable membrane is a layer of material that allows moisture to pass through it without being converted into liquid water. Water vapour molecules are much smaller than those of liquid water. Vapour permeable membranes are available in several varieties including air permeable and self-adhesive membranes.
Water vapour is smaller than liquid water molecules
Water vapour has a much smaller volume than liquid water. The reason for this is due to the hydrogen bond between water molecules. Liquid water molecules have a much higher density than gaseous ones, but the difference is not significant enough to make liquid water heavier. However, a liquid’s density is proportional to its volume.
The smallest size of water molecule is a molecule of water. As the temperature of liquid water rises, the molecules will change phase. The rate at which individual water molecules change phase depends on the average energy of the water molecules. Higher temperatures cause individual water molecules to break chemical bonds with neighboring molecules, which causes the liquid to evaporate more rapidly.
There are different types of vapour permeable membranes
Vapour and air permeable membranes are a type of insulating material. They are used in buildings to control air circulation. They are also used in skylights. The type of membrane you choose will depend on your application. Some membranes are used for more complex roofing designs, such as those used for apartment complex roofs. They give you more flexibility when designing your roof, and they can eliminate the need for additional ventilation.
Vapour-permeable membranes are usually placed on the exterior surface of studwork. These membranes can prevent excessive moisture from accumulating in the timber. The moisture can result in a variety of problems, including mould, rotting, and structural distortions. Additionally, excessive moisture in structural timber can lead to dimensional changes, which may compromise the integrity of the building.
They are air permeable
Vapour permeable membranes have a similar composition and function to air-tight membranes, but they are much more breathable. These membranes are typically made from a core layer of melt-blown polypropylene and two outer layers of spun-bond polypropylene. The outer layers provide additional water resistance and protect the core from damage.
Vapour-permeable membranes are more energy-efficient than standard air-tight air barriers. They also help to manage moisture. This type of membrane can be used for building envelopes to improve energy efficiency and moisture management. Typically, the vapour drive will go from inside to outside, and the vapour-permeable wall wrap will prevent air movement while allowing moisture-laden air from inside to condense on the outside.
Water-vapour permeance is another factor that affects the drying time of an exterior wall assembly. Increasing the permeance of a membrane above a certain value provides marginal benefits to drying time. In simulations, an increase in permeance from ten to fifty perm results in a drying time 12 days faster than with a standard 10 perm membrane. However, an increase of five perm does not result in a faster drying time; rather, it will increase the risk of condensation.
They are self-adhesive
A self-adhesive water vapour permeable membrane is composed of a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer and a laminar structure. The adhesive layer is made up of a layer of spun-bonded polypropylene or melt-blown type polyester. The grid includes air bubbles confined between its meshes, which favour the diffusion and penetration of water vapour molecules. A non-stick protective film is also present.
The vapour control layer of the membrane is made up of a thin polyethylene or aluminium film. Its purpose is to increase the vapour resistance of the membrane. The best membranes are reinforced. The reason for this is that continuity is important for the membrane to function correctly. An unreinforced membrane is prone to tear during installation.
They maintain barrier properties for liquid water and air
Vapour permeability can be an important characteristic of structures that need to keep the interior cool. This property can be enhanced by the inclusion of air cavities. These air cavities help expel moisture from the construction system without compromising energy efficiency. As a result, vapour permeable membranes can be used in buildings that need to maintain high levels of energy efficiency without compromising on the quality of the insulation.
These membranes are manufactured with a core of melt-blown polypropylene and two outer layers made from spun-bond polypropylene. The outer layers provide additional water resistance and protect the core from damage.