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February 2nd, 2010

Video of the week: aerogel insulation hits housing market

Published on February 2nd, 2010 | By: Peter Wray

[flash http://ceramics.org/ceramictechtoday/wp-content/video/aspen_aerogel_demo.flv mode=1 f={image=/ceramictechtoday/wp-content/video/aspen_aerogel_demo.jpg}]

GreenTech reported that some aerogel companies are offering thin blankets that serve as replacements for traditional fiberglass, foam or cellulose insulation. It’s still more expensive upfront but the costs have fallen to the point that it can make sense in certain cases, particularly masonry or curved walls. The video posted above shows aerogel insulation over bent tubing.

Aerogels are made by removing the liquid from gels, resulting in a material that is more than 90 percent air. The porous structure of the nanomaterial makes it difficult for heat to pass through. As a result, aerogels make very good and light-weight insulators.

Aspen Aerogels says that its aerogel blankets have two to four times the insulating value per inch compared to fiberglass or foam. It’s also relatively easy to work with, allows water vapor to pass through and is fire resistant.

Material company Cabot has also developed its Nanogel insulator for buildings. Another company, ThermaBlok, has had its insulation used in demonstration houses built during last year’s Solar Decathlon home competition.

Contractors have started using the material on superinsulated homes that are sealed from the outside, both over masonry and under shingles. On wood frame homes, thin strips of aerogel can be applied to studs to prevent what’s called thermal bridging, where heat escapes through the walls’ framing.

Aspen provides this chart for for the R-value-philes (Spaceloft being Aspen’s brand name for their building insulation aerogel):

Read more about aerogel:

Aerogel markets report available

Aerogel-based -40°C hydration system to be licensed

Solar Decathlon entries make use of aerogel

Aeroclay research at Case Western

NASA’s aerogel grid captures amino acid in space

Cabot”s Nanogel aerogel insulation selected for 50 km of subsea pipelines

Artistic aerogel light demonstrations

Aerogel used in classic car remake

Aerogel’s potential to mop up oil spills

Aerogel has potential as tunable waveplate

Universe’s largest catcher’s mitt?

Birdair demonstrates aerogel membrane roofing systems

Nanotube aerogel sheets – better than real muscle?

Introduction to aerogel video


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20 Responses to Video of the week: aerogel insulation hits housing market

  1. Hello! This is our first opinion right here so I just wanted to offer a quick shout out there along with let you know I truly appreciate looking at your website content. Could you advocate any other sites And sites Or message boards that go over a similar matters? Regards!

  2. TTT-A.RU says:

    Thank you very much for the information…..

  3. nice video share in aerogel insulation hits housing market ..very useful ..thanks

  4. Hey i think it is necessary to maintain the temperature. as energy consumption is more and the bill getting higher numbers, good insulation is must, This helps alot…

    tontineinsulation.com.au

  5. moose says:

    There is a company in Australia that is using Aerogel Blankets for residential & commercial builds.
    Found this on youtube.

    Double brick application.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKce935a9cg

    Drywall & FC sheeting light weight application.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LQbFc9ZnmE&feature=related

    Moose

  6. Peter Wray says:

    Jed –

    Great question. The good news is that it appears that aerogel is a strong acoustic insulator. This information comes from both peer-reviewed science journals (“The existence of a great amount of silica aerogel of more homogeneous and smaller size in the cell wall material has positive effect on the sound absorption and thermal insulation.”) and commentary from federal labs such as the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (“Aerogels also exhibit the best electrical, thermal, and sound insulation properties of any known solid.”).

  7. Jed says:

    How good is aerogel as a sound barrier or letting you play the drums or piano in your apartment in the middle of the night?

  8. Peter Wray says:

    jack –

    If you go to the 1:22 point in this video, you will see a demonstration where a torch flame is applied directly on a chunk of aerogel (held in an open palm) and you can see it doesn’t burn.

    And, the point of showing the pipe insulation is that heretofore aerogel had the reputation of being brittle and nonpliable. Thus, if manufacturers have figured out a way to wrap it around a bend in a pipe, it can be used nearly everywhere for most insulation purposes.

  9. jack says:

    I have seen this material in fire testing. It goes up like a volcano. Also, why are they demonstrating pipe insulation installation for the housing market.

  10. PR says:

    You can purchase Thermablok aerogel strips by calling their sales department at 813-980-1400, or just visit their website at http://www.thermablok.com to get more information. Thermablok aerogel strips cost 99-cents per linear foot, affordable and easy to install yourself.

  11. Cagey says:

    The video was not filmed as a marketing video; it’s a demonstration video to teach people how to install the installation. For that, the video is clear enough.

    The wool that it’s being compared to is mineral wool, which is a fairly common insulation, and is listed on the R-value chart, along with multiple types of foam insulation. The R-value/inch on the Aerogel product Spaceloft is considerably higher than the other insulations.

    Wood is used as a baseline statistic, since most houses are built of wood or wood products.

  12. Jim says:

    In all that info you would think that CONSUMERS would get a easy to compare figure, like a “R” Value and by what thickness. I’m sure it’s pretty good, but one of the things they compare is wool and wood, WTF?

    And where’s the places us consumers can buy it right now, today? None listed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    what did they use to record this video, the refrigerator?
    for a marketing video it really sucks. That makes me wonder about the quality of their product/services.

  14. ArtemusGordon says:

    “aerogel blankets have two to four times the insulating value per inch compared to fiberglass or foam.”

    I reckon everyone knows that foam has much greater insulating properties than fiberglass – so which is it, greater than fiberglass or greater than foam?

    We need some details here, not a puff piece.

  15. Burgerb says:

    Can you imagine how long a beer cooler could keep the beer nice and frosty when at the beach? Amazing!

  16. archibald says:

    Great! Where can I buy some?

  17. AC says:

    Flash sucks. Post the mp4, or don’t bother.

  18. ganapathy says:

    building bricks from flyash need project deatails

  19. Michaelc says:

    It has to be a lot easier and more pleasant to install than fiberglass, plus if you have a limited space for insulation you could fit a lot more of this stuff in the space.

  20. Manhattan says:

    But… how much will it cost for me to just have some to play around with? I love that stuff, but it was always like $30US for just a tiny amount.

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