Thermophysical Properties Research Laboratory, Inc.
Phone : 765-463-1581
Insulation Paint Claims

Beware of Insulated paint or ceramic paint type products that claim wild insulation values. TPRL Inc. would like to counter mis-information concerning various claims about insulated paint products that our company has tested. TPRL, Inc has measured the thermal conductivity of thin layers of insulated paint products and obtained thermal conductivity values. These thermal conductivity values are not R insulation values and TPRL did not claim our results as R values. If you find a copy of TPRL 1780 report on the web you will notice that no R values are in the report.

Our company did provide a memo that stated that a R19 value was possible under certain conditions which included how the HotBox test was done. The HotBox test, performed by another company, used a coating of insulated paint on top of a insulating media to get a R19 value. In real world conditions you will not get a R value of 19 from these insulated paints. A lot of people are believing that if they just paint their building it will add R19 to their insulation value. Other people are believing that if they leave off the insulation on a new construction and paint it with one of these insulation type paints the building will have a R19 insulation value. This will not be the case in either application. Be very careful of the data being presented and the claims being made. Many of the R-values being presented are being done out of context with the intent to mislead. Will these type of insulating or ceramic paints help insulate? Yes, to some degree much like a good thick coat of paint but nothing like the R-value claims being made.

As usual , if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Buyer beware !!

For further information on R-value and Home / Business insulation visit the Federal Government website: .
For a list of companies the FTC is pursuing for false insulation claims visit the above site and click on the 'Enforcement' tab under the heading of additional information. You may also notice when searching the web that a lot of newer insulation paint companies are not based in the US to avoid FTC prosecution.

For a link to a typical FTC complaint based upon a thin spray on insulation claiming an insulation value of R-20 visit:

For information on the Federal governments FTC regulation of R-values please review the R-value Rule at this link:

Follow this link to see how to calculate an R-value from conductivity:
R-value Calculations

Follow this link for an in-depth explanation of R-value:
More information on R-value by Green Energy Advisor

Follow this link for a real-life example of someone who tried to use paint as insulation and found it did not work:

Definitions :
R-VALUE -- A unit of thermal resistance used for comparing insulating values of different material. It is basically a measure of the effectiveness of insulation in stopping heat flow. The higher the R-value number for a material, the greater its insulating properties and the slower the heat flow through it. The specific value needed to insulate a home depends on climate, type of heating system and other factors.

Thermal Conductivity -- A physical property of a substance and characterizes the ability of the substance to transfer heat. The value of Thermal Conductivity determines the quantity of heat passing per unit of time per unit area at a temperature drop of 1 degree C per unit length. Thermal Conductivity differs with each substance and may depend upon on structure, density, humidity, pressure and temperature.

Thermophysical Properties Measured

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal Diffusivity

Specific Heat

Thermal Expansion

Electrical Resistivity


Thermal Gravimetric Analysis & Simultaneous Thermal Analysis


ASTM Methods

Sample Sizes & Definitions

Test Selector Tool

Copyright 2011 TPRL, Inc.
3080 Kent Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Last updated 1/5/2012