Mylar Insulators: What They Are And What You Can Use Them For

Mylar is used for all kinds of industrial applications. It may be a material you could use in your industry, from packaging materials to insulators for electrical wiring. If you are wondering what mylar really is and what else you may be able to use it for in your line of work, the following information is provided.

What Mylar Is…Exactly

As a kid, you probably received and played with a mylar balloon. As the balloon began to deflate, you may have noticed that it became almost papery, while still maintaining its metallic properties. It took a lot of force or a very sharp object to pop a mylar balloon, proving that it was a very durable material. Additionally, if you have ever used a mylar emergency blanket to stay warm or send a highly reflective signal to aircraft overhead, you know that mylar is also very insulating and reflective, depending on how you use it.

What you may not know is what mylar is…exactly. It is “stretched polyethylene terephthalate.” If you never took a chemistry class, this just means that polyethylene is added to terephthalate, which creates a solid from a gas and a couple of liquids during a heating and pouring process. Then this mixture is extruded into a flat surface that stretches it to make a thin foil-like film. It may be colored gold or silver. A more recent mylar product, mylar polyester film, combines mylar’s chemical and structural form with polyester sheeting to create a strong, durable plastic sheeting that has all of the favored properties of mylar foil (e.g., insulating, strong, reflective).

Other Applications for Mylar

Mylar can be used to wrap bare wires that could otherwise prove to be an electrical hazard. As an industrial or company electrician, you can use mylar strips and mylar tape to wrap bare wires or wire bundles that are too close to plant workers for their own safety. You can also prevent electrical fires and dangerous condensation on bare wires with a little mylar strip and/or mylar tape in your tool box. 

If you need to increase the heat produced by certain types of windows (e.g., greenhouse windows) and you are in a glass production plant, you can bond mylar sheets to glass panes to increase heating efficiency, increase natural heating, or prevent heat loss. Some automobile manufacturers may offer mylar-coated windows to consumers who live in very cold areas and may need more heat in their vehicles. Usually the clear mylar film or mylar polyester can accomplish this without darkening the windows too much.