Insulation materials are the building materials which form the outer coating of a building or assists to reduce heat transfer.
Insulation may be categorized by its composition (natural or synthetic materials), form (batts, blankets, loose-fill, spray foam, and panels), structural contribution (insulating concrete forms, structured panels, and straw bales), functional mode (conductive, radiative, convective),resistance to heat transfer, environmental impacts, and more. Sometimes a thermally reflective surface called a radiant barrier is added to a material to reduce the transfer of heat through radiation as well as conduction. The choice of which material or combination of materials is used depends on a wide variety of factors. Some insulation materials have health risks, some so significant the materials are no longer allowed to be used but remain in use in some older buildings such as asbestos fibers and urea