DE  |  EN

Building Contaminants | Picture Data Base

MMMF (Man-Made Mineral Fibres)


Man-Made Mineral Fibres

In Germany quality controlled and health and safety tested MMMF insulation is labelled with the RAL sign (RAL-Gütezeichen). The allocation of the sign is supervised by the "Gütegemeinschaft Mineralwolle e.V."   "New generation" mineral wool contains biologically soluble fibres that are non-carcinogenic. Since 2000 only "new generation" mineral wool may be manufactured and installed in Germany.

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

Mineral wool may either be classed as new or old generation, the older type being carcinogenic. Mineral wool installed prior to 1996 is generally regarded as being of the older type and is not to be reused. In cases where mineral wool insulation was installed between 1996 and 2000 (i.e. transition period) it is regarded as being of the older type if there is no information available. Modern mineral wool used for construction is usually yellow and often has aluminium foil facing on one side. This picture shows a pile of old generation mineral wool mats. During repair and refurbishment work old type mineral wool should not be left exposed but is to be immediately placed in dust tight bags and containers ready  for disposal.

Pipe and Duct Insulation

Exposed MMMF mats used for insulation of an air duct.

In this case there was no information available on the date of installation so that it was classed as being of the older type. Owing to the storeroom being frequently accessed by staff it is advisable to have the insulation covered up.

Exposed MMMF mats used to insulate an air duct.

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

Man Made Mineral Fibres (MMMF) of the older generation used as pipe insulation. Due to the damage to the plastic sheath MMMF particles can be easily released. A close look shows that the pipe insulation consists of the plastic sheathing, cardboard and white MMMF. The "TRGS 521" regulates the health and safety measures to be taken when working with old mineral wool. When covered up the concentration of MMMF particles in the ambient air is very low (< 1000 fibres / m³ air). There are therefore no statutory regulations requiring the removal of existing old generation mineral wool. Old generation mineral wool should always be covered up.

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

Old MMMF pipe insulation without the plastic sheathing but with cardboard casing. Early MMMF was white as opposed to the later yellow mineral wool.

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

Heating pipe with MMMF insulation probably dating back to 1960's or 1970's. The sheath is made of jute textile, plaster and cardboard. According to Swiss literature the jute cloth and the plaster can contain asbestos.

Old white mineral wool used as pipe insulation.

The sheath is made of tar paper, which is known to contain hazardous PAH compounds (see next Section).

Roof Insulation

Mineral wool insulation of a roof.

Date of construction unknown.

Mineral wool insulation of a roof.

The white colour indicates it to belong to the older generation of MMMF. Mineral wool should not be left exposed and should be immediately covered up.

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

An early type of loose MMMF used to insulate the ceiling of a wooden barracks.

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

Loose MMMF insulation used to insulate an attic floor.

Building Exterior: Facade Insulation

Mineral wool insulation behind metal sheet cladding.

Trapezoid metal sheet cladding of a facade.

Such cladding is usually insulated either with MMMF or polystyrene (see next picture).

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

MMMF insulation behind trapezoid metal sheet cladding of a warehouse.

Man-Made Mineral Fibres

Mineral wool insulation behind potentially asbestos containing fibre cement cladding. Owing to the damaged cladding some of the insulation is missing. This spot requires repairing to avoid particle emission and heat loss.

MMMF insulation behind reinforced concrete.

The exterior wall has been damaged resulting in the emission of MMMF particles and the erosion of rebars.