Aerogel Impregnated Polyurethane Piping and Duct Insulation
The Department of Energy has identified an overall need to improve home and other building energy efficiency. One possible approach is to develop aerogel-based additive for existing insulation products and rendering them capable of offering 30% or better thermal barrier performance enhancement. The increased cost of the newer breed of insulation can be easily offset by energy savings and related tax rebates. InnoSense LLC (ISL) is developing aerogel-based insulation (InsuGel) that will efficiently insulate pipes and ducts traditional sources of energy loss. InsuGel will consist of foam that will be sprayed onto surfaces and formed in situ. ISLs aerogel additive will improve the insulation properties of the foam while the in situ forming aspects will ensure complete substrate coverage and improve crevice filling. We demonstrated the feasibility of improving thermal characteristics of conventional polyurethane foam insulation by introducing aerogel particles. Two systems were studied in Phase I, including two-part blowable polyurethane foam and loose fill cellulose. Aerogel particles were incorporated into the structure through mixing methods. The end product was a moldable structure showing an improvement in R-value up to 30%. In Phase II, we will optimize InsuGel to improve morphology and develop scale-up methodologies. We will investigate particle size, concentration, storage, mixing, and insulation application. The scale-up approach would be validated by an industrial laboratory. The thermal performance characteristics, including the R-value increase desired by DOE, would be validated by a DOE lab and a commercial testing facility following ASTM methods. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Current housing insulation is limited by existing materials such as fiberglass batting, polyurethane foam, and cellulose loose fill. ISL will enhance these materials by adding small amounts of aerogel-based additives to insulation materials. InsuGel will offer improved thermal characteristics, be easily used to retrofit existing structures, and effectively insulate hard-to- reach joints and ducts.
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2531 West 237th Street Suite 127 Torrance, CA -
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