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Instructions

Thermal Gradient and Vapor Pressure in a Wall Assembly - Overview

This workbook calculates and displays several items commonly needed when dealing with wall
assemblies. It uses standard methods, but most specifically uses the methods defined in:
“Thermal and Moisture Protection Manual” - Christine Beall – McGraw Hill1998. The ones currently
included are:
- Thermal gradient across a wall
- Saturation vapor pressure across a wall
- Actual vapor pressure across a wall
- Joint width necessary to address component movements and construction tolerances.
- Thermal Bridging
- Wind pressure on a wall in both PSF and inches of water

The main worksheet is the “Wall Gradients” worksheet. It is “protected” so that you won't make
unecessary mistakes while entering data. If you wish to make changes you can unprotect the document
since there is no password.

The “Saturation Pressure Worksheet” shows the coefficients of the polynomial that is used to
approximate the Saturated Water Pressure in the range -50c to 50c for which this equation is valid.

Notes:

- The worksheet is set up to accept up to 8 materials in the wall – plus the airfilms on either side. You
should work from the left side entering material names, thickness and properties. The worksheet will
work properly if you enter fewer than 8 materials.

- For thermal resistance the sheet is set up to expect Resistance per inch and then to calculate the total
resistance based on the thickness of the material. If you are given a specific Resistance (as for an air
film) then you can overide the calcuation.

- Similarly, for Vapor Resistance the sheet is set up to accept permeability and then calculate vapor
resistance per inch and the actual vapor resistance. You can override these last two.

Latest update 10/19/2003


J. Mitchell

Page 1
Instructions

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defined in:
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two.

Page 2
Wall Gradients

Thermal & Vapor Pressure Gradient Calculator


Temp DegF TempDegC Rh Wind Sat VP Actual VP
Inside Conditions 68 20 50% 0 0.691 0.345
Outside Conditions 17 -8 73% 15 0.096 0.070
Delta -51 -28 -0.2749068

Total Wall Thickness 12.9 Inches


Total Wall R 13.7
Total Wall Rep 2.8

AirFilm_In Mat1 Mat2 Mat3 Mat4 Mat5 Mat6


Material Name Gypsum Conc Block Polyst Ins AirSpace Brick
Thickness – in 0.5 6 1.5 1 3.875
X_Distance 0 0.5 6.5 8 9 12.875 12.875
R/in 1 0.255 6.2533333 0.97 0.11 0
R 0.68 0.5 1.53 9.38 0.97 0.42625 0
Permeabilty 120 18.75 19.2 1.2 120 3.2
Vapor Resistance/In 0.008 0.053 0.052 0.833 0.008 0.313 0.000
Vapor Resistance 0.008 0.027 0.313 1.250 0.008 1.211 0.000

Temp on On Right 65 64 58 23 19 18 18
Temp (DegC) 18.6 18 14 -5 -7 -8 -8
Saturated Vap Press 0.6325 0.5926 0.4838 0.1238 0.1061 0.0991 0.0991
Actual Vap Press 0.344 0.342 0.311 0.189 0.188 0.070 0.070
Delta Vap Press 0.2880322464 0.25070475 0.1724728 -0.0651577 -0.0819831 0.0295344 0.0295344

Thermal Gradient in Wall Vapor Pressure in Wall


70 0.700
Vapor Pressure - inches of HG

60 0.600

50 0.500
Temp DegF

40 0.400

30 0.300

20 0.200

10 0.100

0 0.000
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

Wall X-Distance Wall X_Distance

Page 1
Wall Gradients

Mat7 Mat8 Airfilm_out

12.875 12.875
0 0
0 0 0.17

0.000 0.000 0.000


0.000 0.000 0.000

18 18 17
-8 -8 -8
0.0991 0.0991 0.0964
0.070 0.070 0.070
0.0295344 0.0295344 0.0268536

essure in Wall

Saturated Vap Press


Actual Vap Press

8 10 12 14

tance

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Joint Width

The necessary width for a joint is addressed in Chapter 9 of “Thermal and Moisture Protection Manual”. There are
components that must included to determine the design width.
Jt = Thermal movement
Jm = Moisture movement
Jc = Construction Tolerances

Material Marble Name of Material Considered


JL 300 Inches Material Length in Inches
JTW 35 DegF Extreme Winter Wall Temperature
Jta 100 DegF Dry bulb Extreme summer air temperature
JX 75 Constant for heat capacity of material (table 9.2)
JS 0.8 Solar absorption coefficient (table 9.3)
JCT 8.6 Thermal Expansion Coefficient
JCM 8 Moisture Movment Coefficient
Sm 25% Pct Sealant Movement Capacity
SSF 80% Pct Sealant Safety Factor
JC 0.25 Inches Construction Tolerance
JTS 160 DegF Extreme Summer Wall Surface Temperature
JdeltaT 125 DegF Change in Temperature
Jmt 0.3225 Inches Thermal Movement of Joint
JT 1.6125 Inches Joint minimum width for thermal movement
JM 0.0024 Inches Joint minimum width for moisture movement
J 1.8649 Inches Design Joint minimum width

Page 1
Joint Width

sture Protection Manual”. There are 3

Page 2
Saturation Pressure

Saturation Pressure of Water Calculation


Range Good -58 to 122 DegF

TinF 69 Coefficients of Polynomial for


TinC 20.5555555556
a1
EsPoly 24.204 Mb a2
Sat_Water_In 0.7147 In of HG a3
a4
a5
a6
a7

Calculating Mb to inches of Mercury


1 Mb
1 MM
The saturation pressure of water vapor is a complicated 1 Mb
physical function. Good approximations to it are given at
http://hurri.kean.edu/~yoh/calculations/satvap/satvap.html

This spreadsheet uses the Polynomial approximation good


from -50c to 50c, approximately -58f to 122f.

This worksheet shows the coefficients of the polynomial and


how it is actually calculated. The main worksheet uses the
same formula

Page 3
Saturation Pressure

Coefficients of Polynomial for

6.11E+000
4.44E-001
1.43E-002
2.65E-004
3.02E-006
2.04E-008
6.39E-011

to inches of Mercury
0.7500617 Mm of Hg
0.03937008 Inches
0.0295299891 Inches of HG

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Thermal Bridging Calculation

Insulation Values Dimensions


ValueR1 1 a 10.5 inches
ValueR2 1 b 1.5 inches
ValueR3 1
ValueR4 18 b
ValueR5 6 R1

a+b = 12 in
R5
Total Insulation Calculation
Insulation Stud Path
R1 1 1
R2 1 1
R3 1
R4 18
R5 6 R2
Total 21 8

Effective Insulation This sheet allows you to calculate the decrease in effective insulation valu
bridging. It assumes a stud-like material with insulating material filling bet
Reff 17.5
Decrease 3.5 Vary the dimensions and the insulation values to see the decrease in effe
Decrease% 17%
You can see that the formula in B24 is
=((Insulation_R*Stud_R)*(a+b)) / (a*Stud_R+b*Insulation_R)
This is derived from equating the sum of the heat flows through the two se
an "effective" resistance over the total width path and solving for the effec

Note that when you have metal bridging the calculation is more complex b
much small of the metal. In this case you must calculate a tributary area.
calculations.
a
b
R1
R3
R5

R2

ecrease in effective insulation value due to simple thermal


l with insulating material filling between the studs.

alues to see the decrease in effective insulation value.

d_R+b*Insulation_R)
the heat flows through the two separate paths to the heat flow of
idth path and solving for the effective resistance.

the calculation is more complex because the dimensions are so


u must calculate a tributary area. See 3.4.2 of Beall for those
Wind Pressure as a function of wind speed in MPH

The pressure on a building is q=0.00256v^2


Gust Coeff 1

MPH q PSF q inches water


0 0.0 0.0
10 0.3 0.0
20 1.0 0.2
30 2.3 0.4
40 4.1 0.8
50 6.4 1.2
60 9.2 1.8
70 12.5 2.4
80 16.4 3.2
90 20.7 4.0
100 25.6 4.9
110 31.0 6.0
120 36.9 7.1

Wind Pressure

40.0
35.0
Pressure PSF & In Water

30.0
25.0 q PSF
20.0 q inches water
15.0
10.0
5.0
0.0
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
Speed MPH