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FIBRE REINFORCED AEROGEL BLANKET

THERMAL INSULATING MATERIAL


SAIKAT KUMAR SAHU
BEM/626

WHAT IS AEROGEL?
Aerogel is basically a synthetic porous ultralight material
derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has
been replaced with a gas.
Aerogels are sometimes also known by different names such as
frozen smoke, solid smoke, solid air, or blue smoke owing to
translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material.
Aerogels
are
typically
characterized by low density
solid, low optical index of
refraction,
low
thermal
conductivity, low speed of
sound through materials

PREPARATION OF AEROGELS
Aerogel synthesis involves the following three stepsSol-Gel Preparation- The gel is prepared using silicon
precursors, such as tetra methyl ortho silicate (TMOS), tetra
ethyl ortho silicate (TEOS), methyl tri ethoxy silane (MTES),
silicon alkaoxide, etc. The silica gel can be prepared by mixing
tetra ethoxy silane Si(OC2H5)4 with ethanol and water to make
it polymerize and thus producing a water based silica gel.
Si(OCH2CH3)4 (liq.) + 2(H2O) (liq.) SiO2 (solid) +
4(HOCH2CH3) (liq.)
Then a solvent, such as methanol, is used to extract and replace
the liquid

PREPARATION OF AEROGELS
Aging of the Gel- It provides strength to the structure of gel.
The gel prepared earlier is aged. After jellification, the gel is left
undisturbed in the solvent to complete the reaction. After
completion of reaction the aerogel product is formed.
Drying- The solvent has to be removed while preserving the
solid aerogel network. This can be done by supercritical drying.
Aerogel materials are typically prepared by removing the
solvent contained in a gel matrix by extraction in a supercritical
fluid medium. The gel solvent system can be extracted from the
wet gel with an appropriate solvent. Liquid carbon dioxide is the
most popular extraction solvent because it is inexpensive.

PREPARATION OF AEROGELS

AEROGEL PROPERTIES
Aerogels are highly porous solid materials which can consist
of 99% air.
Aerogels have an unusual combination of high porosity and
small pore size.
Inside the structure of the aerogel, air molecules are
prevented from touching. Thus, heat transfer is impossible.
In their original, brittle state, aerogels cannot be used for
facade insulation. This is why aerogel can be mixed with
plasters to prepare a thermal insulating plaster or an
insulation board can be made with fibre mat and aerogel.
Aerogel also has a very low density (0.030.35 g/cm3).
Sound velocity in aerogel is also low, which is
approximately 100m/s.

FRAB- Fibre Reinforced Aerogel Blanket


Since aerogels cannot be used for facade insulation, it is casted
into a fibrous batting, which provides mechanical integrity.
Typically polyester, glass, carbon, or ceramic fibre can be used
as blanket. The process includes the following steps-

Before drying the wet gel is filled into the blanket.

Then the solvent is removed via CO2 extraction and dried.

The blanket is rolled onto a spool.

FRAB- Fibre Reinforced Aerogel Blanket

FRAB- Fibre Reinforced Aerogel Blanket


o Thicknesses of the blankets are normally 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30,
40 mm.
o Thermal conductivity varies between 0.015 W/mK to
0.018W/mK.
o This blanket has excellent vapor permeability.
o It has good impact sound absorption.
o It does not contain any ozone depleting substances.
o Available Sheet size: 580 x 390 mm
Health Aspects:
It is not expected to pose a carcinogenic risk.
Silica is inert when ingested, and unlikely to be absorbed
through the skin.
Typical dust loading in fab-shop is <5 mg/m3, where OSHA
(Occupational Safety and Health Administration) limit for
amorphous silica is 80 mg/m3.

FRAB- Fibre Reinforced Aerogel Blanket


TESTS
Test
Procedure

Property

Results

Remarks

ASTM C 518

Thermal
Conductivity

0.015 W/mK to
0.018W/mK

Stable thermal
conductivity

ASTM E 84

Flame Spread &


Smoke
Development

ASTM E 96

Water Vapor
Transmission Rate

79 perm

Passes water
vapor

ASTM E 2178

Air Permeability

0.043 L / s-sqm

Its good to
maintain thermal
conductivity

Class A: FSI <5


Good fire
and SDI 20
resistant material

ADVANTAGES OF AEROGEL
It is one of the most promising high performance thermal
insulation materials for building applications with a low
thermal conductivity (0.018 w/mK).
It has visible transparency for insulation applications which
will allow their use in windows and skylights.
It has ultralow refractive index.
Aerogel also has ultralow relative density.
This is a hydrophobic material.
It is also a fire resistant material.
Aerogel also has a good sound insulation property.

DISADVANTAGES OF AEROGEL
Though it is not expected to pose a carcinogenic risk and
typical dust loading in fab-shop is <5 mg/m3, still sometime
it is harmful to human. So it is advised that while preparing
or fixing one should use paper dust mask, work gloves, and
safety glasses.
It is a bit costly than other insulation materials.

COST OF FRAB
ASPEN is one of the manufacturer of Fibre Reinforced Aerogel
Blanket. ASPEN provides this blanket in rolls with the sizes of
850 sqft and 1500 sqft.
The cost is $ 2.30/sqft, which is INR 142.5/sqft.
Comparison of costs with other insulation materials-

CASE STUDY
Exterior Wall Application
Project : Residential Building, Canada
The Fibre Reinforced Aerogel Blanket from
ASPEN was applied over the whole exterior
surface.
Then a brick faade was applied over the
FRAB and then other finishing materials are
installed.

Main purposes were to provide Continuous Thermal insulation


Energy efficiency

Before

After