How Does Thinsulate Work?

Introduced by the company 3M in 1960 for ski apparel and later on in 1979 for common winter wear, Thinsulate (derived from the terms thin and insulate) was presented to the sales market with the slogan “warmth without bulk.” The name and slogan explained it all. Though that may be the case, there is so much more to Thinsulate than just a thin insulating material.

What is Thinsulate?

Thinsulate is exactly what its name entails. It is a thin, insulating material made up of fibers measured to be about 15 micrometers in diameter. Polyester fibers that are used in the insulation of gloves and winter jackets are not even that thin, making Thinsulate material lighter and easier to move in. Though the fibers are so incredibly thin, Thinsulate is known to provide 1 to 2 times the warmth and insulation that is provided from duck down.

How It Works

How is something that something so incredibly light and thin provides so much warmth? Without getting too terribly scientific, it all comes down to the density of the fibers at a smaller size. This combination allows for a larger number of fibers to be maintained in a smaller, tighter area creating a larger reduction of heat from being able to flow from the pores. Though less heat is able to escape, there is just enough space between the materials that it is breathable so that moisture is able to escape, therefore allowing the sweat produced by the body to evaporate appropriately. This is an ideal concept for boots considering that they naturally store more heat, causing more sweat to be produced, then a normal pair of sneakers or tennis shoes.This is especially helpful, and generally the reason it is used, in boots for those working in freezing or sub-freezing conditions. Some of these conditions would include working outside in the snow, cold storage occupations, ice fishers, deep sea fishers (such as tuna and lobster), and anything else that would place someone in the cold for long periods of time. The insulation, in this case, would help in preventing freezing medical conditions such as frostbite. In a nutshell, it works because it traps air molecules between your body and the outside.

Uses and Other Benefits

Thinsulate material has become so incredibly popular that it is now being used for many other products and objects used in everyday life. Due to its high insulation capabilities, Thinsulate is now a possible choice in home insulation. Porsche, yes the car company, has found another use for this material. Other than using it as insulation in the roof of their newest Boxsters, they have also discovered that by utilizing its material composition, the sound has reduced noise levels within their vehicles by about 50%. This could expand its market even further. Whether it is in boots, clothing, houses, winter accessories, ski and sporting apparel, or even cars, Thinsulate has made its way onto the shelves and into the hearts of many making a lighter, warmer lifestyle.

Other Resources:
Thinsulate for Boots -