Webinars

Characterizing the Performance of Insulation

This webinar will focus on characterizing the performance of both novel and traditional insulation materials.  Join Adam Harris, Managing Director of C-Therm Technologies, in learning more about application of the Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) method for characterizing the performance of various insulative materials.
 
Aerogels are a relatively new class of ultralight, porous materials, typically derived from a gel. In an aerogel, the liquid component of the gel has been replaced by a gas (typically air). Owing to the very light nature of most aerogels, most aerogel samples have a translucent, blueish appearance. Porosity of aerogels is generally in excess of 98% (meaning that >98% of an aerogel’s volume is pore volume). Aerogels are known for their extremely low thermal conductivity, which is often lower than that of air. In this respect, the thermal conductivity of an aerogel material is typically identified as a critical performance specification. This low thermal conductivity makes aerogel materials exciting in the field of insulation research, where engineers are continually looking to improve energy efficiency without adding excessive weight.
 
Polyurethane foams are used in a variety of insulation applications.  Although PU foams have higher thermal conductivity ranges than aerogels, they are still heavily relied upon for their insulative properties in light of their lower cost. Polyurethanes are attractive for many construction applications because they are durable and low cost materials.
 
Synthetic and natural down are commonly employed in the apparel and textile fields to similarly provide insulation.  In these applications, it is important to know the impact that compression of the material can have on the thermal conductivity.  Typically, if you densify the material, this increases the thermal conductivity.  Thus it is important to apply representative conditions for the compaction of the sample in testing the thermal conductivity. Coupling the TCi with C-Therm’s Compression Test Accessory (CTA) allows for testing of materials with the ability to precisely control the levels of compression and densification.
 
Bio-based insulation materials, traditionally employed in clothing and textile applications using furs and downs, are seeing increasing use in less-traditional applications – and with less-traditional materials. Scientists and engineers in the field of sustainable design engineering continuously push to create sustainable materials which do not sacrifice performance relative to less sustainable, often petroleum-based solutions. To that end, biopolymers are being employed to generate bio-based foam insulation, while seaweeds and mosses are being explored for application in building insulation. In all cases, the thermal conductivity is a key performance metric of these materials.
 
Finally, we’ll look at porous ceramics and how they can be employed to provide improved insulative properties.  Recent works published from Izmir Katip Celebi University in Turkey highlights the thermal conductivity of the ceramics for improved insulation performance by adding waste marble powder to fired clay bricks.
 
This webinar will be of particular interest to engineers, materials science researchers and quality control personnel focused on characterizing the insulation quality of materials.

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