Aerogels have been in existence for more than 80 years. Invented in 1931 by Dr. Samuel Kistler at the College of the Pacific in California, silica aerogel is a lightweight solid derived from gel in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with gas. When the liquid is removed, what remains is “puffed-up sand," with up to 99% porosity. The result is an extremely low density solid with several remarkable properties, most notably its effectiveness as a thermal insulator. Aerogels also have value in emerging applications such as energy storage, filtration and carbon capture.
The solids in silica aerogels are poor conductors, consist of very small, three-dimensional, intertwined clusters that comprise only 3% of the volume. Conduction through the solid is therefore very low. The remaining 97% of the volume of aerogels is composed of air in extremely small nanopores. The air has little room to move, inhibiting both convection and gas-phase conduction.
These characteristics make aerogels the world’s lowest density solid and most effective thermal insulator. After many decades as a laboratory curiosity, Aspen Aerogels has successfully commercialized a technically and economically viable form of aerogel for industrial and building insulation uses. These developments represent the first application of our Aerogel Technology Platform based on silica aerogels.
About Aerogel Insulation
Aspen Aerogels offers high performance aerogel insulation blankets for both hot and cold service applications.
Pyrogel®, Cryogel® y Spaceloft® aerogel blanket insulation products have been widely used in industrial and building insulation markets for over a decade. Our unique patented process integrates aerogel into a fiber-batting reinforcement to create flexible, resilient and durable aerogel blankets with superior insulating properties.
The aerogel part of our high performance insulation blankets is comprised of synthetic amorphous silica (SAS). The other major ingredient in our products is a non-woven, needled batting comprised of either E-glass fibers or a blend of polyester (PET) fibers and E-glass fibers.
Synthetic amorphous silica has been produced for more than 100 years for a variety of uses (adsorbents, fillers, anti-caking agents) and consumer products (toothpaste, cosmetics, food, animal feed). The US EPA recently listed synthetic amorphous silica as a chemical on the Safer Chemical Ingredient List, part of the Safer Choice program. The Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL) is a list of chemical ingredients that the Safer Choice Program has evaluated and determined to be safer than traditional chemical ingredients.
Advantages of Pyrogel® Insulation
- Superior Thermal Performance: Up to five times better high-thermal performance than competing insulation products.
- Reduced Thickness and Profile: Equal thermal resistance at a fraction of the thickness. Maximize process infrastructure and resolve mechanical clashes.
- Less Time and Labor to Install: Pyrogel insulation is easily cut and conformed to complex shapes, tight curvatures, and spaces with restricted access. Pyrogel XTE supports more insulation coverage per man hour than traditional forms of insulation.
- Reusable - Lower Lifetime Costs: Pyrogel XTE is easily removed for inspection and maintenance and can be reused in original service, reducing downtime and eliminating the need to purchase replacement insulation at regular maintenance cycles.
- Physically Robust and Impact Resistant: Soft and flexible but with excellent spring back, Pyrogel XTE recovers its thermal performance even after compression events as high as 100 psi, protecting critical assets from compromise due to tool strikes, footfalls, lifting, and transportation.
- Logistics Savings - Time and Money: Reduced material volume, high packing density, and low scrap rates can reduce shipping volumes by a factor of five or more compared to rigid, pre-formed high-temperature insulation.
- Simplified Inventory: Unlike rigid pre-forms such as pipe cover or board, the same Pyrogel® XTE blanket can be kitted to fit any shape or design. Reduce the time and effort spent managing large numbers of SKU's. Pyrogel XTE offers unrivaled versatility.
- Hydrophobic Yet Breathable: Pyrogel® XTE repels liquid water but allows vapor to escape, there by keeping pipe and equipment drier for longer. Pyrogel XTE supports unrivaled CUI defense, better process stability, and extends the life of your assets.
- Environmentally Safe: Aspen Aerogel’s high-temperature insulation is landfill disposable, shot-free, with no respirable fiber content.