|Aerogel Blanket Insulation Standard to Be Developed by New ASTM Thermal Insulation Task Group
A new ASTM International task group has been formed to develop a proposed new specification for aerogel blanket insulation. The task group, which is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee C16.23 on Blanket and Loose Fill Insulation, will meet Oct. 2225 in Atlanta, Ga., to continue writing the new standard. Subcommittee C16.23 is part of ASTM International Committee C16 on Thermal Insulation.
The impetus for the proposed new standard for aerogel blanket insulation is the increasing frequency with which this relatively new material is being specified. Although aerogels were discovered in the 1930s, they have only recently become commercially available in a blanket form that is both robust and flexible for practical applications. During the last five years, they have been applied in offshore field developments, oil sands and a host of other industrial and consumer applications.
According to Gordon Hart, senior applications associate, Aspen Aerogels, Inc., “Aerogel insulating blankets have the lowest thermal conductivity of any commercially available materials at atmospheric pressure (i.e., excluding vacuum insulation systems).” As an example of one such application, aerogel blanket insulation is frequently specified to insulate both hot and cryogenic pipe-in-pipe systems. New pipe-in-pipe designs using aerogel blankets greatly benefit from the reduced insulation thickness, and hence reduced outer diameters that can be achieved with this extremely low thermal conductivity insulation.
The proposed new aerogel standard will be useful to owners and designers who benefit from having ASTM standard specifications that they can reference as a basis in their project insulation specifications. The proposed standard will lower users’ risks as it will provide a concise reference for all performance, mechanical and chemical properties necessary for a comprehensive specification. It will cover the range of continuous exposure operating temperatures from -330° F up to 1200° F where aerogel blankets can be used.//
Technical Information: Gordon Hart, Aspen Aerogels, Inc., Northborough, Mass.
ASTM staff: Timothy Brooke
Oct. 22-25, Atlanta, Ga., October Committee Week