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Building with Aerogel - a Green Material for your Home!

Apr 28,2022

Headache of Building Energy Consumption

Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings account for a significant proportion of the world's overall energy use and emissions. Therefore, it is imperative that buildings become more energy efficient. As part of this effort, passive houses and zero-emission buildings are also being implemented. Building thermal insulation is one of the most significant steps taken in meeting the demands for more energy-efficient buildings.

New insulation materials and solutions with low thermal conductivity values have been developed to achieve the highest possible thermal resistance. A material that met this challenge is Aerogel, which was therefore discovered as a solution to this issue. We will look at everything about aerogel, including its purpose, uses, properties, benefits, and drawbacks, in order to understand it better.

What is Aerogel?

It's interesting to note that Aerogel is the lightest solid in the world, but it's also the least dense as well. Furthermore, it is the lowest density of all materials as well as the best thermal insulator. Originally developed in the 1930s, aerogel has recently found its way into mainstream construction applications. During manufacturing, liquids are replaced by gases without shrinking, leaving its molecular structure intact.

Want to know more about Aerogel, please check here.

Uses of Aerogel at Home

Buildings account for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of total CO2 emissions. Reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling buildings is an effective and beneficial action against climate change. Reducing this energy loss requires better insulation to comply with new building codes.

Current solutions rely on increasing the thickness of the insulation itself, which ultimately leads to negative economic, architectural, and environmental impacts. Here, Aerogel technology steps in to provide more compact and high-performance insulation materials and solutions.

With Aerogel's help, this new super-insulating material can be created that overcomes two major hurdles that have so far held back the widespread use of siliceous Aerogel in buildings and construction. These obstacles are the poor mechanical properties of aerogels and the high costs associated with production and fabrication.

Having provided you with this information, we are sure that you now know what aerogel is and what its home uses are. So now let's look at the various benefits of aerogels.

Advantages of Aerogel Insulation

  1. Flexible.

Aerogel insulation products are very flexible. They come in various forms such as Aerogel concrete, Aerogel sheet, and Aerogel blanket. They are supplied in rolls and come in a variety of sizes and formats. In addition, they can also be easily cut to the desired shape and size.

They can be applied to any surface, such as walls, roofs, floors, etc., reducing the complexity of inventory management. Best of all, they are also recyclable/reusable for the building.

  1. Breathable and hydrophobic.

Most insulation systems on the market, such as fiberglass, polystyrene, mineral wool, etc., tend to absorb and retain moisture. This ultimately makes them prone to corrosion under insulation (CUI). CUI is caused when wet insulating material comes into contact with any metal surface. This accident can be easily avoided with Aerogel because of its hydrophobic nature. Functionally, Aerogel prevents water and moisture from penetrating into the insulation system through gaps and leaks.

Additionally, Aerogel insulation is breathable in any form. This breathable property of Aerogel insulation allows water vapor to pass through it when the wall or equipment is heated.

  1. Lowest K-value.

K-value is nothing but the thermal conductivity of a material. If any material has a lower K-value, its insulating properties are better. Therefore, it can be said that the lower the K-value, the better the thermal insulation effect. Aerogel insulation systems have the lowest K-values, enabling them to have very thin profiles on request.

This special property makes aerogel insulation systems more popular when space is limited. In addition, the low weight of the insulation system adds additional savings in materials, warehousing, and logistics.

  1. Don’t use organic binders.

The main function of the adhesive is to hold all the fibrous elements together. When the temperature rises above 200℃, these binders tend to break down, causing the fibers to loosen. This can often be seen in buildings where external coverings are removed during maintenance. During this time, the fibrous insulation begins to sink to the bottom, making it unsuitable for continued use.

It should be noted that in aerogel insulation, it is not necessary to use organic binders. This ultimately makes the structure thermally and physically stable, even at higher temperatures.

Limitations of Aerogel Insulation

  • Usage Cost

They are slightly more expensive in comparison to the other insulating systems.

  • High-Temp. Withstand

Aerogel insulation is designed to withstand a temperature up to 650℃ Anything higher than that will require another suitable type of insulation.

Application on Building

  • Wall

The heat of the building comes mainly from weak points in the façade. Walls tend to absorb heat, they do not store heating energy for long periods of time. This causes heat/cold to escape through the walls to the outside environment.

Aerogel insulation on the exterior walls prevents heat/cold from escaping to the outside environment. Aerogel blankets can be used to insulate the exterior and interior of walls. Aerogel provides a one-stop insulation solution for walls with moisture problems. It is also perfect for wet walls due to its moisture-resistant properties.

  • Ceiling

A home can lose up to 25% of its heat through an uninsulated or poorly insulated roof. This major thermal energy loss can be greatly reduced by high-quality insulation measures. The main function of the insulation layer of the roof is to provide warmth in winter and cool in summer. This insulation is also needed to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions, and protect the home from structural damage.

Aerogel insulation can meet all these requirements by insulating the roof cavity. This can be achieved by applying thin strips of Aerogel to the roof.

  • Floor

Thermal efficiency, high compressive strength combined with a thin profile make Aerogel insulation an attractive underfloor insulation. For under-floor applications, installation is simple and quick, which can be done without affecting the fittings of the door.

Plus, it's a great, cost-effective solution for remodeling your basement. Aerogel insulation can be used with radiant floors to save energy and make heating cycles faster.

Conclusions and Recommendations

In the field of insulators for aerogel time, now is coming, Aerogels are unique nanoporous materials that possess 2 to 8 times the insulating value of conventional insulating materials of the same thickness. More than that, it performs very well in both high and low-temperature environments.

Although it is very thin, the Aerogel is lighter and allows for greater internal volume in tight spaces. Its hydrophobic properties give Aerogel excellent moisture resistance. It also exhibits excellent resistance to flame spread and smoke emission.

Best of all, Aerogel insulation material is both user-friendly and recyclable/reusable for your building.

Full Collections of Silica Aerogel Products- Blanket, please check.