STP1116

    Aerogel — A High Performance Insulating Material at 0.1 Bar

    Published: Jan 1991


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    Abstract

    Silica aerogel is a low-density, transparent and porous solid that achieves vacuum-like insulating performance at a very modest vacuum (0.1 bar). Research is under way to further improve the thermal performance of this already highly insulating material by reducing the internal radiative heat transfer. The thermal resistance of aerogel is increased by adding infrared absorbing compounds to reduce the radiative heat transfer within the aerogel. Aerogel samples were prepared and their infrared transmission spectra were measured. After suitable materials and preparation methods were evaluated, an evacuated aerogel panel was prepared for thermal conductivity measurements. The measurements performed on this panel demonstrated significant increases in thermal performance over similar panels without opacification agents. Enhanced aerogel insulation has the potential to displace the current use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigerator, and other appliances, thereby reducing the CFC damage to the ozone layer while producing significant gains in energy efficiency.

    Keywords:

    aerogel, silica, non-CFC insulation, evacuated insulation, thermal insulation, supercritical drying, microporous


    Author Information:

    Hunt, AJ
    LeaderPost-Doctorate AppointeeGraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; University of California, Berkeley, California

    Jantzen, CA
    LeaderPost-Doctorate AppointeeGraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; University of California, Berkeley, California

    Cao, W
    LeaderPost-Doctorate AppointeeGraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; University of California, Berkeley, California


    Paper ID: STP16363S

    Committee/Subcommittee: C16.30

    DOI: 10.1520/STP16363S


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