Yeah right Super Therm works – Too good to be true!

An blog from 2009 on Contractor Talk had a conversation and comments below regarding SUPER THERM®:

We are currently doing a remodel on a 150 year old house. The front entrance way has a cold/heat transfer issue and requires something to alleviate the problem but the owner does not wish to have the plaster walls torn out to re-insulate – etc.

I got into a discussion with my paint supplier and mentioned this to him – he suggested using Super Therm paint to fix it. He was very sure of himself that the stuff would do the job. He went on to explain the properties of it and such. He also stated that by using the primer and paint you can get higher thermal properties (sic).

I tend to question this – so has anyone used this product? Does it really do what they claim? I did read up on it on the manufacturers website supertherm.com …but…..


Here at NEOtech Coatings we experience many comments with SUPER THERM® that are ill-informed and misleading because people don’t understand the high performance nature of the one and only SUPER THERM® ceramic insulation coating. tsimshianman‘s response below on the blog was excellent and it’s important that people understand ‘there are numerous knock off products which are the ones you hear about making wild performance claims. All you need to do is ask for the testing which supports the claims.’ SUPER THERM® is tested, certified and proven.


Response by tsimshianman

If the world were to listen to some of you guys we would still be living in caves! Your negative comments about something you obviously have yet to research first hand is quite laughable especially when it is a technology developed in the USA. Is that the best you can do on here? Commenting on an image of a space shuttle as though that were some logical argument proving the product does not work? The reference to NASA is simply due to the fact that Super Therm is one of thousands of “NASA Spin-off” technologies. NASA has been developing a “Thermal Protection System” for the space shuttles since the late 60s. The materials utilized in the TPS included carefully selected materials including ceramics. The ceramics selected are extremely poor conductors and do not absorb heat.

Where do you suppose the use of aluminum foil to control heat transfer came from? Were you naysayers knocking that as well? A newly developed golfball was created utilizing NASA aerodynamics technology to create a more symmetrical ball surface, sustaining initial velocity longer and producing a more stable ball flight for better accuracy and distance.

This is a list of some of the categories where you will find more NASA Spin-offs:

1. Computer Technology
2. Consumer/Home/Recreation
3. Environmental and Resource Management
4. Health and Medicine
5. Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology
6. Public Safety
7. Transportation

I have used Super Therm on various projects over the past 9 years. In fact I have used other ceramic coatings from the same manufacturer. Certainly initially it took a bit of time to wrap my head around the technology and move beyond what I thought I knew about heat transfer and insulation. In fact I was called a “doubting Thomas” by the distributor at the time. Why?…because I was conditioned to think that in order to control heat loss you must have something that is thick and heat absorbing.

Mashpotatomac is an exception on this thread and has obviously researched the different ceramic coatings offered by Superior Products Int. II. His understanding of the technology of different ceramic types and heat transfer is apparent through his remarks. One point I would like to make however is that Super Therm does indeed block heat via conduction but like any technology there are some limitations. In fact it was designed to address all three forms of heat transfer. How effective it will control heat transfer will depend on a number of factors such as the environment in which it is applied. The manufacturer and distributors are also very helpful in ensuring you are using the right solution.

The use of HSC makes sense because of the type of ceramics contained in that coating. Although Hot Surface Coating was designed with such substrates as hot piping in mind to control heat loss the use of the product does not have to be limited to just hot piping. This coating and Hot Pipe Coating (HPC) were designed to address different heat thresholds but can also be effective in extreme cold conditions. There are no reflective ceramics in these coatings which are found in the Sunshield and Super Therm products. The type of ceramics used in HSC and HPC are of the hollowsphere type which essentially provides a highly effective air barrier.

I was present during a test using the HPC. A 7″ diametre pipe was heated up with a tiger torch to simulate a live system or in this case an exhaust stack on a ship. The temperature of the pipe reached 400°C (752 F). After a half inch of coating was applied the surface temp was reduced to 90°C (194 F) and I was able to place my hand on it.

My advice would be to educate yourselves more about the technology of using ceramics to control heat transfer. There are numerous knock off products which are the ones you hear about making wild performance claims. All you need to do is ask for the testing which supports the claims. There are a number of regulating bodies such as ASTM, Factory Mutual, ICC and more. The manufacturer of Super Therm has spared little dollars in this area.

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