Mylar blanket is also known as an emergency blanket or a space blanket. It is a versatile and lightweight thermal insulating sheet made of Mylar, a brand name for a type of polyester film. These blankets are often used to assist regulate body temperature and give protection from the elements in a variety of outdoor and emergency situations. Typically, these blankets are extremely thin, compact and highly reflective. Due to their design they efficiently reflect and retain body heat making them beneficial in situations where keeping warm is important.
These blankets were initially designed to protect astronauts from significant temperature variations during space travel but they have eventually discovered applications on Earth as well. This article will discuss about what is Mylar blanket, science behind this blanket, what are these blankets made from, advantages of these blankets, types of these blankets, care and maintenance.
Table of Contents
What is Mylar Blanket?
A Mylar blanket is a lightweight and compact sheet constructed of the material Mylar. It is also known as an emergency blanket, space blanket or thermal blanket. Mylar is a brand name for a type of metalized polyester sheet that has reflective qualities. These blankets are designed for use in a variety of outdoor and emergency situations to assist regulate body temperature and protect against cold.
These blankets are extremely thin and often come in compact folded packages that are easy to transport in backpacks or emergency kits. Their basic purpose is to reflect and retain body heat making them extremely useful in situations when staying warm is important. These blankets were first used in space travel to protect astronauts from harsh temperatures, fluctuations and they have since been adapted for use on Earth.
Science behind Mylar Blanket:
The science behind a Mylar blanket lies in its reflecting and insulating qualities which allow it to assist regulate body temperature in a variety of situations. Theses blankets are normally comprised of a thin, metallized polyester film that is highly reflective and capable of reflecting a substantial part of the body’s radiated heat back to the body.
This feature enables the blanket to trap and retain body heat reducing excessive heat loss and assisting in the maintenance of a steady core temperature. This blanket’s reflective surface works by reflecting heat radiation preventing it from escaping into the surrounding environment. This technique is essential in instances where persons are exposed to cold temperatures or poor weather conditions because it helps in minimizing heat loss and lowering the risk of hypothermia.
What is Mylar blankets Made of?
A Mylar blanket is made of a polyester material called BoPET (biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate). This material has a thin layer of aluminum metalized on it, making it extremely reflective and great at holding heat. The end product is a lightweight, compact, and waterproof blanket. Silver or gold blankets are common. Due to the strong reflection of these metallic colors, this color was chosen. Since silver reflects up to 95% of radiated body heat it is an excellent choice for thermal insulation.
Advantages of Mylar Blanket:
Mylar blanket offer several advantages due to their unique properties and here are some of the advantages of these blankets in detail:
These blankets are highly effective at reflecting and retaining body heat. They can help prevent hypothermia by minimizing heat loss making them valuable in cold and adverse weather conditions. The reflective surface of the Mylar material bounces a significant portion of your body’s heat back towards you.
Compact and Lightweight:
These blankets are incredibly thin and lightweight, making them easy to carry in backpacks, emergency kits or even a pocket. Their compact size ensures they don’t add much weight to your gear that is crucial for hikers, campers and emergency responders.
Due to their compact size, these blankets are highly portable making them an excellent addition to outdoor activities such as camping, hiking or backpacking. They are also ideal for emergency situations where you may need to move quickly and cannot carry bulky items.
Waterproof and Windproof:
Mylar blanket is resistant to water and wind providing an extra layer of protection in adverse weather conditions. This feature helps keep you dry and shields you from chilling winds which can be life saving in emergencies.
These blankets have a wide range of applications. Besides serving as a personal insulating layer, they can be used as ground cover, a makeshift shelter, a signaling device or even as a temporary rain poncho.
These blankets are relatively durable and when used carefully they can last for multiple uses. They are resistant to tearing and can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear.
These blankets are cost-effective and readily available making them an affordable addition to any outdoor gear collection or emergency preparedness kit.
Space and Aerospace Heritage:
These blankets were originally developed for space exploration to protect astronauts from extreme temperature fluctuations in space. This heritage attests to their reliability and effectiveness.
Types of Mylar Blanket:
There are several types of Mylar blankets each designed for specific purposes or with unique feature and here are some common types of these blankets:
Mylar Standard Blanket:
These are the most common and versatile blankets. They are lightweight, compact and designed to reflect and retain body heat. Mylar standard blankets are widely used in outdoor activities, emergencies and survival situations.
Thermal Mylar Blanket:
These blankets are often thicker and more durable than Mylar standard blankets. They provide enhanced thermal insulation and are suitable for extreme cold conditions. Some of these thermal blankets can also have reinforced corners or grommets for securing them as part of a shelter.
Mylar Reversible Blanket:
Mylar reversible blankets have one side made of the traditional reflective Mylar material and the other side with a different color or material such as orange or green. This design allows for increased visibility and signaling when used as a distress signal or marker.
Mylar Bivvy or Sleeping Bag-style Blanket:
These blankets are designed in the shape of a sleeping bag or bivouac sack making them more suitable for wrapping your entire body. They often have a hood and a zipper or closure system providing better coverage and protection from the elements.
Mylar Emergency Shelter Blanket:
These are larger Mylar blankets that can be used to create improvised shelters or tents. They may have reinforced edges and attachment points to tie them to trees or other supports. Emergency shelter blankets are ideal for creating a protective shelter in emergencies or during camping trips.
Rescue blankets are usually larger and thicker than Mylar standard blankets, designed to provide superior warmth and protection in rescue and medical situations. They are often used by first responders and in disaster relief efforts.
Mylar Military-grade Blanket:
These blankets are specifically designed for military use and they are typically more robust and durable. They may have additional features like camouflage patterns making them suitable for tactical operations and survival situations in the field.
Also Read: Minky Couture blanket
Care and Maintenance:
Taking care of your Mylar blanket is essential to ensure its effectiveness and longevity. Here are some brief tips for the care and maintenance of these blankets:
Keep it Dry:
These blankets are waterproof, but it’s still essential to keep them dry. If they get wet allow them to air dry thoroughly before folding and storing them. Moisture can cause damage or mildew.
Avoid Sharp Objects:
Be careful when using these blankets around sharp objects as they can tear or puncture the thin material easily. If you notice any small tears or holes, consider repairing them with tape to extend the blanket’s usability.
When folding your blanket for storage, be gentle to avoid creases or sharp folds that can weaken the material. A loose roll is often a better storage method to prevent damage.
Mylar blankets have become indispensable tools for staying warm and safe in various situations. With their lightweight and reflective properties, they offer a versatile solution for combating the elements and protecting yourself from the cold.
Are Mylar blankets reusable?
Yes, these blankets are generally reusable making them a sustainable choice in emergency situations.
Do Mylar blankets protect against rain?
Mylar blankets are waterproof and can provide some protection against rain but they are not a substitute for proper rain gear.
Can Mylar blankets be cut or customized for specific uses?
Yes, Mylar blankets can be cut and customized for various DIY projects such as making shelters or reflective clothing.