Title:
Blanket insulation with reflective sheet and dead air space
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Heat insulation is positioned in a building structure that includes radiant heat reflective sheet material that is placed in spaced relationship with respect to an adjacent body, such as fibrous blanket heat insulation material. The reflective sheet is protected from intrusion of dust, fibers, etc. and faces a dead air space.



Inventors:
Alderman, Robert J. (Canyon Lake, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/336589
Publication Date:
09/11/2003
Filing Date:
01/03/2003
Assignee:
ALDERMAN ROBERT J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B29C65/18; B32B1/02; B32B3/02; B32B3/20; B32B7/02; B32B15/14; B32B17/02; B32B27/06; E04B1/76; E04B1/78; E04D13/16; E04D13/17; F28D20/02; (IPC1-7): E04B1/74
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, CHI Q
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS | HORSTEMEYER, LLP (3200 WINDY HILL ROAD, SE SUITE 1600E, ATLANTA, GA, 30339, US)
Claims:
1. A building structure having elongated parallel support members and insulation positioned between the parallel support members, comprising: lengths of elongated insulation blanket approximately rectangular in cross section and having opposed parallel broad surfaces, and opposed parallel narrow surfaces, said lengths of said blanket positioned between said parallel support members with said narrow surfaces juxtaposed said support members, a first one of said broad surfaces of said blanket having applied thereto a reflective sheet assembly of a length and breadth approximately the same as the length and breadth of said broad surface of said blanket, and support means attached between said blanket and said reflective sheet assembly adapted to support said reflective sheet in a spaced relationship with said first one of said broad surfaces of said blanket and forming between said first one of said broad surfaces and said reflective sheet a dead air space.

2. The building structure of claim 1, wherein said support means is collapsible for maintaining said reflective sheet in abutment with said first one of said broad surfaces before said blanket is installed between said support members.

3. The building structure of claim 1, wherein said collapsible support means at each edge of said blanket comprises a flange having a proximal edge connected to the narrow surface of said blanket and a free edge projecting from said blanket, said reflective sheet connected at its edges to said flange intermediate said proximal and free edges of said flange, with the portion of said flange adjacent said free edge forming a connector strip extending beyond said reflective surface for attachment to said support members.

4. The building structure of claim 3, wherein said connector strip is fastened to said support members.

5. Blanket insulation assembly for placement between elongated parallel support members of a building structure, comprising: an elongated blanket of convection and conduction heat insulation formed approximately rectangular in cross section and having opposed parallel broad surfaces, and opposed parallel narrow surfaces, in lengths sized an shaped for positioning between the parallel support surfaces of a building structure with said narrow surfaces juxtaposed support members of said building structure, a reflective sheet positioned in overlying relationship with respect to a first one of said broad surfaces and of a length and breadth approximately the same as the length and breadth of said first broad surface, and support means attached between said blanket insulation and said reflective material adapted to support said reflective sheet in a spaced relationship with said first one of said broad surfaces and forming between said first one of said broad surfaces and said reflective sheet a dead air space, whereby the elongated blanket provides insulation against conduction and convection heat transfer, and the reflective sheet material provides insulation against radiant heat transfer.

6. The blanket insulation assembly of claim 5, wherein said support means is collapsible for maintaining said reflective sheet in abutment with said first one of said broad surfaces before said supply of elongated blanket is installed between said support members.

7. The blanket insulation assembly of claim 6, wherein said collapsible support means comprises a flange extending along each side of said blanket, each flange having a proximal edge connected at the narrow surface of said blanket and a free edge projecting from said blanket, said reflective sheet connected at its opposed edges to said flanges intermediate said proximal and free edges of said flanges, with the portion of said flanges adjacent said free edge forming a connector strip extending beyond said reflective surface for attachment to a support member of a building structure.

8. The blanket insulation assembly of claim 6, wherein said collapsible support means comprises a plurality of compressible spacers positioned between said reflective sheet and said blanket.

9. An expandable reflective insulation assembly for placement in a building structure comprising: a pair of overlying sheets having side edges; said sheets being attached at their side edges to each other; at least one of said sheets having a reflective surface; means positioned between said sheets for holding said sheets spaced from each other and forming a dead air space between said sheets.

10. The expandable reflective insulation assembly of claim 9, wherein said sheets are of a width for spanning the space between parallel elongated parallel support members of a building structure.

11. The expandable insulation assembly of claim 9 and wherein a foldable gusset joins said sheets at each of their edges.

12. The expandable insulation assembly of claim 11 and wherein said gussets each have protruding flanges for connection to a support member.

13. The expandable insulation assembly of claim 9 and wherein compressible connectors bias said sheets apart to maintain the dead air space between said sheets.

14. A heat insulation box for installing in a building structure for providing heat insulation for the building structure, comprising: opposed rectangular superposed bottom and top walls, and opposed rectangular side walls connected to said bottom and top walls and forming an interior space between said walls, said box being expandable and collapsible when said bottom and top walls move away from each other or toward each other as said side walls fold between right angles with respect to said bottom and top walls or parallel with respect to said bottom and top walls, said bottom and top walls and said side walls having interior surfaces facing the interior of said box, at least one of said interior surfaces of said bottom and top walls having a heat reflective surface, said box having when expanded into a rectangular shape a width between said side walls of approximately 14 inches for fitting between rectilinear support structures spaced at 16 inch centers and a length of approximately 22 inches for fitting between rectilinear support structures spaced at 24 inch centers.

15. The heat insulation box of claim 14, wherein said box further includes end walls for closing said box.

16. The heat insulation box of claim 15, and further including adhesive tape closing said box.

17. The heat insulation box of claim 14, and further including in combination with said box fibrous insulation positioned in contact with said box.

18. The combination of claim 17, wherein said fibrous insulation is selected from the group consisting essentially of: fiberglass, mineral wool, or cellulose.

19. The combination of claim 17, wherein said fibrous insulation rests on said heat insulation box.

20. The combination of claim 17, wherein said box rests on said fibrous insulation.

21. A heat insulation box for installing in a building structure between parallel structural supports of the building structure that are spaced in uniform distances from one another, comprising: said box having opposed parallel top and bottom walls, and a dead air space between said bottom and top walls, at least one of said top and bottom walls supporting a radiant heat reflective surface for reflecting radiant heat, said radiant heat reflector facing said dead air space, said box sealed for minimizing the entry of dust, fibers and other small items into the dead air space and avoiding occlusion of said radiant heat reflective surface, said box having a width and a length, said width of said box is dimensioned for fitting snugly between adjacent ones of the parallel structural supports of the building structure that are uniformly spaced from one another at first uniform distances.

22. The heat insulation box of claim 21, wherein said length of said box is of different dimension than said width of said box and is dimensioned for fitting snugly between adjacent ones of parallel structural supports of a building structure that are spaced from one another at second uniform distances that are different from the first uniform distances.

23. A heat insulation box for installing in a building structure, comprising: opposed walls, a radiant heat reflective material supported by at least one of said walls, said box configured for said opposed walls to expand away from each other to a parallel spaced relationship with each other and for said opposed walls to collapse toward each other, said opposed walls defining a dead air space there between when expanded away from each other, and said box configured to exclude the accumulation of dust and fibers on said reflective surface, so that duplicate ones of said box can be distributed in a building structure and the radiant heat reflective material provides radiant heat insulation, said dead air space provides convection heat insulation, and said opposed walls provide convection and conduction heat insulation for the building structure.

24. The heat insulation box of claim 23, and further including: a bag filled with gas positioned in the dead air space of said box.

25. The heat insulation box of claim 24, wherein said radiant heat reflective material is provided by said bag bearing a radiant heat reflective material.

26. The heat insulation box of claim 24, wherein said bag has taken the shape of the interior of said box.

27. The heat insulation box of claim 24, wherein said opposed walls are engaged by and supported by said bag.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE

[0001] This application claims the benefit of co-pending provisional application 60/345,770, filed Jan. 4, 2002. This is a continuation-in-part of: Ser. Nos. 10/039,101 filed Jan. 4, 2002, 10/056,730 filed Jan. 25, 2002, 10/103,636 filed Mar. 21, 2002, and 10/255,740 filed Sep. 26, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention concerns the heat insulation of building structures, particularly the use of heat reflective material alone or in combination with conductive and convective insulation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A typical prior art insulation placed in the ceiling and walls of a home or other building structure is fiberglass blanket insulation, which is rectangular in cross-section and cut to the desired length at the job site for placement between studs and joists of the building structure. In addition, a sheet of facing material is applied to one broad surface of the fiberglass blanket, with the facing material having overhanging edges extending beyond the sides of the blanket that can be applied to the studs, joists, etc. to hold the blanket in place. Typically, the fiberglass blanket would be placed in the space between the studs or joists, and the overhanging edges of the backing sheet would be stapled to the adjacent studs or joists.

[0004] One of the most desirable materials for forming blanket insulation is fiberglass. Glass is a good heat insulator and the glass fibers trap a substantial amount of air between them to form a multitude of dead air spaces. This combination of glass fibers and trapped air provide insulation against convection and conduction heat transfer.

[0005] The insulation blanket can be made of other fibrous materials such as mineral wool and cellulose, both of which provide a multitude of air spaces within the blanket. Also, the layer of fibrous material can be applied in other forms, such as in small masses of fiber glass, that can be blown into an attic.

[0006] However, the fibrous blanket alone does not provide adequate insulation against radiant heat transfer. In order to provide the desired radiant heat insulation an additional sheet can be formed of reflective material, such as reflective aluminum foil, and applied over the blanket of fibrous material.

[0007] One of the problems with the above noted structure that includes both the fibrous blanket and the reflective sheet is that when the reflective surface of the foil engages another surface, such as the fiberglass of the blanket or when the foil becomes dirty from the accumulation of dust, fibers, spider webs, and trash, the foil sheet loses its ability to reflect radiant heat. Therefore, when fiberglass blanket is combined with a reflective sheet material, care must be taken that the reflective foil is displaced from the other materials and that the reflective foil remains clean so as to retain its maximum reflective characteristics. It is this concept that this invention addresses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Briefly described, the present invention comprises a heat insulation blanket assembly for placement between elongated parallel support members of a building structure, such as joists of a ceiling or floor, or the studs of a wall. The heat insulation blanket assembly includes an elongated blanket, rectangular in cross-section, of convection and conduction heat insulation material, sized and shaped to fit between adjacent studs or joists of a typical building structure. A reflective sheet assembly is positioned in overlying relationship with respect to a broad surface of the blanket, of a length and breadth sufficient to overlie the length and breadth of the broad surface of the blanket and constructed so as to space the sheets from each other and to space the reflective sheet from the blanket and to form a dead air space therebetween.

[0009] In one embodiment of the invention, the reflective sheet assembly includes a side foldable reflective sheet assembly that has a pair of overlying sheets, at least one of which is reflective. Foldable sides or gussets are formed on opposite sides of the assembly. The foldable sides each include a support flange at opposite edges of the blanket, with each flange having a proximal edge and a distal free edge, with the proximal edge attached to the comer of the blanket at the intersection of a broad surface with a narrow surface of the blanket. The reflective sheet material is attached at its edges to the flanges, intermediate the proximal and free edges of the flanges. The flanges are foldable about their proximal edges so as to allow the reflective sheet to be alternately positioned in abutment with the blanket or in spaced relationship with the blanket and forming a dead air space therebetween. The distal edge portions of the flanges protrude from the reflective sheet to form a connector strip extending beyond the reflective sheet for attachment to a support member such as a stud or joist of the building structure. With this arrangement, the reflective sheet can be moved into abutment with the blanket when the heat insulation blanket assembly is formed in a compact profile and into a reel configuration for shipment and storage.

[0010] When the heat insulation blanket assembly with side foldable reflective sheet assembly is to be installed between the supports of a building structure, it is cut to length and the blanket is pushed in between the adjacent support members of the building, and the connector strips of the reflective sheet assembly are grasped by the installer and folded outwardly from positions parallel to the blanket to positions normal to the broad surface of the blanket, which places the connector strips parallel to and adjacent the support structures. This also functions to pivot the flanges outwardly and pull the reflective sheet away from the blanket, unfolding the side gussets and forming a dead air space between the reflective sheet and the blanket. The worker then fastens the connector strips with staples, fasteners, adhesive, or other conventional connector means to the adjacent support members, which holds the entire blanket assembly firmly in place in the building structure.

[0011] In another embodiment of the invention, a compressible reflective sheet assembly is placed in overlying relationship with a broad surface of the fiberglass blanket. The compressible reflective sheet assembly includes a pair of overlying sheets, at least one of which is reflective, and compressible supports are positioned between the sheets. Typically, the compressible supports can be sponge material, with the sponge material formed in small shapes, such as one-half inch cubes with adhesive applied thereto. The adhesive would connect opposed surfaces of the compressible supports to both the sheets of the reflective sheet assembly, with the compressible supports being spread apart from one another approximately 1 foot. When the blanket assembly is compressed and formed into a reel for storage and shipment, the compressible supports are compressed between the sheets of the reflective sheet assembly to their minimum breadth so as to allow the blanket assembly to partially collapse and occupy the smallest practical shape. When the blanket assembly is taken in lengths from its reel, the compressible supports tend to urge the reflective sheet of the reflective sheet assembly away from the blanket, forming the dead air space between the reflective sheet and the blanket.

[0012] When the compressible sheet assembly is to be oriented vertically, as when placed in a vertical wall, the compressible supports can be formed in the shapes of ribs that extend laterally across the blanket for the additional purpose of retarding vertical movement of air through the insulation blanket assembly. This reduces any tendency of convection heat transfer due to vertical air movement within the blanket assembly.

[0013] The above described embodiments of the invention provide the combination of fiberglass or other blanket-type insulation against convection and conduction heat transfer, and a reflective sheet for insulation against radiant heat transfer, with the reflective sheet being spaced from the blanket insulation to form a clean dead air space that permits reflection of radiant heat by the reflective sheet material. Also, the dead air space between the reflective sheet material and the blanket insulation forms additional insulation against convection in the overall insulated structure.

[0014] In another embodiment of the invention, boxes are provided in a shape compatible with the spacing between the joists and studs in a conventional building structure. Examples of the spacing between the joists and studs is 16 inches from center to center of 2×4 inches studs or 2×8 inches joists, or 24 inches from center to center of the same sized joists or studs. The boxes can be formed with a length of approximately 22 inches and a width of 14 inches. This enables the installer to place the short dimension of the boxes between the 16 inch centered studs or place the longer dimension of the boxes between the 24 inches centered joists. The boxes are closed and have at least one internal wall that bears a heat reflective material for reflecting radiant heat. The boxes usually will be combined with fibrous insulation, such as blanket or blown fiberglass spread on top of the boxes or with the boxes resting on the fibrous insulation. The closed boxes also form internal dead air spaces that add convection and conduction insulation value to the structure and that prevent the dust, fibers, etc. from accumulating on the heat reflective surface of the internal wall of the box.

[0015] Another form of the invention is the use of the side foldable reflective/expandable sheet assembly, or the compressible reflective sheet assembly, or the reflective boxes without the fibrous material attached thereto. These products can be used alone or can be combined at the job site with blanket insulation or loose insulation, for example.

[0016] Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved insulation assembly for building structures.

[0017] Another object of the invention is to provide improved radiant heat insulation for building structures.

[0018] Another object of this invention is to provide an improved insulation blanket assembly for building structures that is expedient to install and that provides reflective sheet material adjacent a dead air space.

[0019] Another object of the invention is to provide an expandable reflective sheet assembly that can be used with or without additional insulation in a building structure and that forms an expandable unoccupied space adjacent the reflective sheet.

[0020] Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] FIG. 1 is an end cross-sectional view of the side foldable blanket insulation assembly, with the center portion removed for clarity, that includes the blanket and reflective sheet, showing the reflective sheet as it is being moved away from the blanket.

[0022] FIGS. 2-5 are progressive illustrations of the procedure for installing the blanket insulation assembly of FIG. 1 between joists of a ceiling of a building structure.

[0023] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the blanket insulation assembly showing a compressible blanket insulation assembly being unreeled from its supply and paid out into a flat configuration for cutting to length and for later installation between adjacent parallel support members of the building structure.

[0024] FIG. 7 is an end cross-sectional view of the compressible blanket insulation assembly of FIG. 6.

[0025] FIG. 8 is a perspective view, similar to FIG. 6, of another embodiment of a compressible blanket insulator.

[0026] FIG. 9 is an elevational view of a length of the compressible insulation blanket of FIG. 8 installed between the studs of a wall.

[0027] FIG. 10 is an end cross sectional view of the side foldable reflective sheet assembly of FIGS. 1-5, without an accompanying blanket, installed in a ceiling structure.

[0028] FIG. 11 is an end view, similar to FIG. 10, but showing loose insulation added to the side foldable reflective sheet assembly.

[0029] FIG. 12 is an end cross sectional view of the compressible reflective sheet assembly installed parallel to a ceiling structure with additional loose insulation below the sheet assembly.

[0030] FIG. 13 is a side cross sectional view of the compressible reflective sheet assembly installed transverse to the lengths of the joists of a ceiling structure, with loose additional insulation positioned below the sheet assembly.

[0031] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of insulation boxes placed in combination with fibrous insulation between adjacent joists in a ceiling structure, with some of the fibrous insulation removed to show one of the boxes.

[0032] FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an end of an insulation box, showing how the ends of an insulation box can be constructed and closed.

[0033] FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an insulation box with its end closed.

[0034] FIG. 17 is a plan view of insulation boxes installed between rectilinear structural supports on 16-inch centers.

[0035] FIG. 18 is a perspective illustration of an insulation box that contains an inflated bag, with the bag bearing a radiant heat reflective material.

[0036] FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view of the box of FIG. 18, showing how the inflated bag takes the shape of the interior of the box.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0037] Referring now in more detail to the drawings, in which like numerals indicated like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 discloses a side foldable blanket insulation assembly 10 that includes a blanket 12 that is of approximately rectangular cross-sectional configuration, having opposed broad surfaces 13 and 14 and opposed narrow surfaces 15 and 16. The blanket 12 typically would be formed from spun fiberglass of conventional construction so as to provide entrapment of air between the glass fibers; however, other blanket material can be used if desired.

[0038] A side foldable reflective sheet assembly 17 is adhered to the broad surface 14 of the blanket. The assembly includes the reflective sheet 18, such as aluminum foil, and a parallel sheet 19, that can be either reflective or non-reflective. The reflective surfaces of the sheets face the interior of the assembly 17. The sheets 18 and 19 are positioned in overlying relationship with respect to the broad surface 14 of the blanket 12. Both sheets 18 and 19 are of approximately the same length and width as the broad surface 14 of blanket 12, so as to completely span the broad surface 14.

[0039] Foldable sides or gussets 25 are formed between the edges of sheets 18 and 19. The gussets include side flanges 20 and 21 are positioned at the intersection of broad surface 14 and narrow surfaces 15 and 16 of the blanket, with each side flange including a proximal edge 22 and a distal edge 24 (FIG. 1). The proximal edge 22 of each side flange is attached to an edge of sheet 19 at the adjacent comer of the blanket 12, and is pivotable as indicated by arrow 28. The reflective sheet 18 is connected at its side edges to the side flanges 20 and 21 at positions intermediate the proximal 26 and distal 28 edges of the side flanges, leaving a connector strip 30 protruding beyond the reflective sheet 18.

[0040] When the side foldable blanket insulation assembly 10 is in storage or in transport, typically the side flanges 20 and 21 of the gussets 25 will be folded closed as indicated in FIG. 2 and as indicated at the right side of FIG. 1 by the side flange 21. When the blanket insulation assembly is received at the site where it is to be installed, the side flanges 20 and 21 will be pivoted as indicated by arrow 28 (FIG. 1) about the proximal edge 22 of the side flanges, so as to move from a position parallel to the broad surface 14 of the blanket 12 to a position normal to the broad surface 14. This forms a dead air space 32 between the reflective sheet 18, sheet 19 and the broad surface 14 of the blanket 12. Also, this places the connector strips 30 of the side flanges in the same planes of the narrow surfaces 15 and 16 of blanket 12, so that the connector strips can be stapled, nailed, adhesively applied or otherwise connected with conventional connectors to the adjacent parallel supports 36 and 37 of the building structure.

[0041] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the side folded blanket assembly 10 is placed by the installer between adjacent structural members 36 and 37, such as the joists of a ceiling structure, with the installer pushing the blanket 12 upwardly between the joists to a position slightly beyond the desired position, as indicated by arrow 38. The installer then grasps the connector strips 30 and unfolds them downwardly from their positions parallel to the broad surface 14 of the blanket 12 to positions approximately normal to the broad surface 14, as indicated by arrows 40 and 41 of FIG. 3. The installer then pulls the connector strips 30 downwardly toward himself, so as to move the blanket insulation assembly 10 in the direction as indicated by arrow 44. When the distal edges of the connector strips 30 are aligned with the lower edges of the joists 36 and 37, the installer will then staple or nail with a tool 39 or otherwise connect the connector strips 30 to the adjacent joist, stud, or other structural member (FIG. 4). This holds the reflective sheet 18 in its displaced relationship with respect to the adjacent broad surface 14 of the blanket 12, creating the clean dead air space 32 (FIG. 5).

[0042] Once the blanket insulation assembly 10 has been properly installed as illustrated in FIG. 5, another installer will install sheet rock 44 or other sheet material to the joists or studs 36 and 37. This forms another dead air space 46 between the sheet rock 44 and the reflective sheet 18.

[0043] If desired, the sheet 19 can be or bear a reflective material, instead of or in addition to the sheet 18. Both sheets will face the dead air space between them and their reflective surfaces will be protected from accumulation of dust, fibers, etc. that would tend to occlude the reflectivity of their surfaces.

[0044] In FIGS. 6 and 7, another embodiment of the invention is illustrated that includes blanket insulation assembly 50 that includes a blanket or bat 52 of insulation material and a compressible reflective sheet assembly 53 having a reflective sheet 54. The reflective surface of the sheet faces the blanket. The reflective sheet 54 is maintained in spaced relationship with respect to the blanket 52 by means of a plurality of compressible spacers 56, such as cubes or other shaped sponges of approximately ½ inch in height, length and width. The cubes are coated with adhesive before being placed between the reflective sheet 54 and blanket 52 so as to adhere to the sheet and blanket and hold the sheet properly positioned in overlying relationship with respect to a broad surface of the blanket. This forms a dead air space 58 between the reflective sheet 54 and blanket 52. The spacers are spaced from each other a distance that is effective to maintain the sheets in spaced relationship with each other and provide as much dead air space as practical, for example one foot apart.

[0045] When the compressible blanket insulation assembly 50 is formed into a reel 61 as shown in FIG. 6, the compressible spacers 56 will be compressed so as to allow the reflective sheet 54 to at least partially collapse toward the adjacent broad surface of blanket 52 so that the blanket insulation assembly occupies a minimum amount of space when in storage or transit.

[0046] When the compressible blanket insulation assembly is paid out from its reel 61 and formed in a flat configuration, the compressible spacers 56 and ribs 60 will expand gradually so as to form the dead air spaces 58 as illustrated in FIG. 7.

[0047] FIGS. 8 and 9 show an embodiment of the invention that is similar to that of FIGS. 6 and 7, except that the compressible spacers 56 that are in the shape such as cubes or other smaller objects are replaced with ribs 60 that extend laterally across the elongated blanket and its reflective sheet. The ribs 60 form a barrier to air movement between the blanket and the reflective sheet. This is particularly useful for installing the insulation assembly of FIGS. 8 and 9 in vertical walls, where there is some tendency of air movement within the insulation structure.

[0048] As illustrated in FIG. 9, the ribs 60 would extend horizontally between adjacent vertical studs 62. The ribs would function like the compressible spacers 56, in that they are compressible for rolling the blanket insulation assembly into a reel 62 and are expandable when the reel is paid out to form the dead air space between the reflective sheet and the blanket of fibrous insulation.

[0049] The embodiments of the invention of FIGS. 6-9 are suitable for placement with the reflective sheet 54 above the blanket, since the compressible spacers 56 and ribs 60 will oppose the gravity pull of the reflective sheet 54 toward contact with the adjacent surface of the blanket 52, so that the dead air space 58 is continuously maintained between the reflective sheet and the blanket. The installer can lay the blanket insulation assembly downwardly between the joists of a ceiling structure, against the sheet rock or other ceiling material with the reflective sheet 54 facing upwardly, with gravity holding the assembly in place.

[0050] It can be seen that the side flanges 20 and 21 of the side gussets 25 of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-5 and the compressible spacers 56 and 60 of the embodiments of the invention of FIGS. 6-9 function as collapsible support means that are collapsible for maintaining the reflective material juxtaposed with the broad surface of the blanket or, in the alternative, expandable for holding the reflective material in spaced relationship with respect to the adjacent surface of the blanket material, to form dead air space.

[0051] The reflective sheets 18 and 54 can be formed with a Kraft paper backing, if desired. The reflective sheet provides a low “e” (emissivity) reflective facing concept. When the reflective sheet is combined with the insulation blanket, it provides an expedient way to install the radiant barrier with the same effort required to place the insulation blanket in the building structure. No extra labor is required to install the radiant barrier or to create the dead air spaces. The insulation blanket typically would be fiberglass material laminated to a multi-layer folded facing that creates a dead air space or spaces with low “e” reflective radiant barriers. This facing is laminated to the fiberglass insulation blanket at the factory and rolled up in the conventional way. When the insulation blanket assembly is unrolled, the layers of facing material fold outward to form a boxed in dead air space with reflective surfaces. This air space will be approximately 1 inch thick in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5 and ½ inch thick in the embodiment of FIGS. 6-9.

[0052] The insulation blanket assembly solves the two biggest problems with radiant barriers in building structures. For a radiant barrier to work with the low “e” the reflective surfaces must face an air space and the surfaces must remain uncorroded and dust-free for many years to be fully effective. The basic method used to fold out the facing layers of FIGS. 1-5 can be done by: (1) pushing the insulation material a little too far in between the joists or other framing members, and (2) pulling outward on the connector strips to unfold the multi-layers. The connector strips are then stapled to the adjacent studs or joists.

[0053] The embodiments of the invention as shown in FIGS. 6-8 have a built-in self-deploying feature. When it is to be installed as an attic retrofit, the insulation blanket assembly 61 or 62 is unrolled with its radiant on top and its reflective surface facing the dead air space. The blanket assembly is just rolled out across the existing insulation or joists, and is not stapled to any frame members. The compressible spacers automatically urge the reflective sheet radiant barrier away from the adjacent surfaces of the blanket, forming the dead air space, and this configuration can be maintained for many years by the compressible spacers.

[0054] While one-half inch cubes and ribs of sponge material have been disclosed as the compressible spacers, other kinds, shapes and configurations of spacers can be utilized, with the smaller sized spacers leaving more dead air space between the adjacent reflective sheet and the blanket. It is important to provide the maximum area of dead air space with nothing but dead air between the low “e” surfaces.

[0055] FIG. 10 illustrates another use for the side foldable reflective sheet assembly 17. Essentially the same side foldable sheet assemblies of FIGS. 1-5 are produced without blanket insulation being adhered thereto. The installer using a technique similar to that illustrated in FIGS. 2-5, places the side foldable reflective sheet assembly 17 between adjacent ones of the structural supports 36 and 37 and unfolds the connector strips 30 of the side foldable reflective sheet assembly, connecting them in the same manner to the structural supports 36 and 37. This opens the reflective sheet 18 away from the companion sheet 19, leaving the dead air space 32. This provides the reflective sheet and its necessary dead air space between the structural supports 36 and 37, without a likelihood that the reflective sheet will become encumbered by dirt, insulation fibers, etc., maintaining the reflectivity of the reflective sheet 18. Additionally, the dead air spaces 32 and 46 add to the insulation value of the structure.

[0056] FIG. 11 shows essentially the same structure of FIG. 10, but further including insulation 65 positioned on the side foldable reflective sheet assembly 17. The insulation can be loose insulation placed by hand or blown onto the upper surface of the side foldable reflective sheet assembly, or can be blanket insulation installed after the sheet assembly has been installed.

[0057] FIG. 12 illustrates the compressible reflective sheet assembly 53 without the accompanying blanket insulation. Typically, the compressible reflective sheet assembly 53 would be placed over loose or blanket insulation 65 that could be blown into position or positioned by hand between the structural supports 36 and 37.

[0058] FIG. 13 illustrates another way to install the compressible reflective sheet assembly 53, that has its length extending across the lengths of the joists 36, 37 of the ceiling structure.

[0059] The arrangements of FIGS. 12 and 13 also can be constructed with the ribbed spaced product of FIGS. 8 and 9.

[0060] With the arrangements of FIGS. 10-13, it can be seen that the reflective sheet assemblies 17 and 53 can be independently manufactured, stored, shipped and brought to the installation site without having been first adhered to insulation. These reflective sheet assemblies can be placed independently in the structure, as shown in FIG. 10, or can be combined with loose insulation, as shown in FIGS. 11-13.

[0061] FIGS. 14-17 illustrate the use of reflective heat insulator boxes used in a building structure for the purpose of providing reflective heat insulation.

[0062] The boxes are placed between adjacent parallel joists or studs 72 and 73. As shown in FIG. 15, each box has a bottom wall 74, a top wall 75, side walls 76 and 77, end flaps 78 and 79, and side flaps 80 and 81. The end and side flaps 78-81 are duplicated at the opposite end (not shown) of the box 70.

[0063] The bottom wall, top wall and opposed side walls all have interior surfaces that face the interior of the box when it is in its expanded configuration. The box defines an interior space that functions to contain dead air. At least one of the interior surfaces of the bottom wall 74 or top wall 75 bears a heat reflective material, such as aluminum foil. The reflective surface of the sheet material faces the dead air space within the box 70. If desired, more or all interior surfaces of the walls of the box 70 can bear the radiant heat reflective material.

[0064] It is desirable to have the boxes be substantially air tight so as to avoid the intrusion of dust, fibers, spiders, etc., thereby retaining the maximum reflectivity of the heat reflective surfaces. Accordingly, the ends of the boxes are formed with the end flaps and side flaps 78-81 that can be folded to closed positions. Typically, the side flaps 80 and 81 would be folded inwardly as indicated by their direction arrows, while the end flaps 78 and 79 would be folded over the side flaps 80 and 81. Adhesive tape 83 can be applied to the corners of the flaps, and a longer length of adhesive tape 84 applied to the seam between the end flaps 78 and 79. This tends to substantially seal the box into a closed configuration, assuring that the intrusion of dust, etc. into the box is minimized.

[0065] As illustrated in FIG. 17, it is desirable to manufacture the boxes 70 so that they are compatible with the spaces formed between the studs and joists of typical construction. The typical spacing between studs and joists is either 16 inches from center to center or 24 inches from center to center. In order to be compatible with this spacing of the rectilinear structural supports, the boxes 70 are formed so that they have a width that is compatible with the 16 inch center-to-center spacing and a length that is compatible with the 24 inch center to center spacing. In order to accommodate the width of the joists, studs, etc., the width of the boxes is 14 inches, which is compatible with the 16 inch spacing of the structural supports, and the length of the boxes is 22 inches, which is compatible with the 24 inch spacing of the structural supports. With these dimensions, the boxes can be used for either of the conventional spacings of the structural supports.

[0066] The thickness of the boxes 70 should be great enough to have at least ½ inch interior spacing between the reflective surface of the heat reflective material and the opposed top or bottom wall.

[0067] When the boxes are manufactured and stacked for shipment, they can be in the conventional collapsed configuration where the side walls 76 and 77 are folded flat against the top or bottom walls so that the vertical dimension of the collapsed boxes is minimized. Once the boxes are received at the construction site where they are to be installed, the boxes can be expanded by orienting the side walls at right angles with the top and bottom walls as shown in FIG. 15, and then folding the flaps 78-81 to a closed configuration and applying the tape 84, as illustrated in FIG. 16.

[0068] FIG. 18 illustrates an insulation box assembly 90 that includes the exterior box 92 and the interior inflated bag 94. The box is of conventional shape, in that it includes opposed parallel bottom and top walls 96 and 97, side walls 98 and 99, and opposed end walls 100 and 101. The box can have its end walls 100 and 101 opened up and become collapsed with the bottom and top walls 96 and 97 moving in abutment with each other, or the box can be expanded and the end walls 100 folded as is illustrated in FIGS. 18 and 19.

[0069] The bag 94 is inflated with gas, usually dry air. The bag bears a radiant heat reflective material that reflects radiant heat. A dead air space is formed in the bag when the bag is placed within the box and inflated. The reflective material of the bag faces the dead air space 95, so that the box and its bag protect the reflective material from being occluded by dust, fibers, spider webs, or other intrusion items.

[0070] The gas in the dead air space 95 expands the bag to the shapes indicated in FIGS. 18 and 19, so that the bag tends to support the opposed bottom and top walls 96 and 97, maintaining the walls in parallel spaced relationship. Also, the inflated bag tends to fill the box so that substantially the entire interior of the box bears the reflective material provided by the bag 94.

[0071] While a specific construction of the ends of the boxes has been illustrated in the drawings, it will be understood that various other closure configurations can be formed at the ends of the boxes to expedite the box erection procedure.

[0072] Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of the disclosed embodiment can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.