Aerogel

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dave45
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Aerogel

Post: #144212 dave45
Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:27 pm

Has anyone got any experiences, good or bad, with aerogel insulation in the UK?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerogel

I am interested in finding a polycarbonate (?) greenhouse/conservatory roof material with aerogel as the "meat in the sandwich"... to get transparency with insulation. I can't find any. Does it exist.

Also interested in aerogel as carpet underlay... for my "earth-bermed workshop". (thats my basement ! - insulated but not well enough to counteract the steady seeping of paid-for heat into the cold cold earth. )

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Annpan
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Re: Aerogel

Post: #144217 Annpan
Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:49 pm

Never heard of it before I am afraid, I would have a few initial questions/ thoughts....

How much does it cost?

How eco is the manufacturing process? (though I tend to agree that insulation is energy saving enough to make up for some of the sins of the manufacturing process)

Who sells it?
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StripyPixieSocks
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Re: Aerogel

Post: #144219 StripyPixieSocks
Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:14 pm

Aerogel is phenomenally expensive... a little 3" cube of it is in the regions of £40... last time I checked anyway.

I know because the stuff fascinates me and I wanted to buy some!

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Annpan
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Re: Aerogel

Post: #144221 Annpan
Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:28 pm

Yikes!!!!
Ann Pan

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dave45
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Re: Aerogel

Post: #144225 dave45
Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:19 pm

yes - VERY expensive... the wikipedia article gives some idea of the production process - doesn't look particularly poisonous... Aspen Aerogels is the US trade name that comes up from googling. I am at a loss to understand why shedloads of research isn't going into bringing the price of this stuff down as it is so obviously a natural winner as regards insulation. Its been about for decades.

And yes - fascinating stuff.... I got a tiny piece off ebay, but haven't figured out what to do with it yet.... it feels funny (and aint transparent).

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Annpan
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Re: Aerogel

Post: #144228 Annpan
Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:39 pm

I'd imagine there isn't more money going into researching it because there a huge variety of readily available insulation materials already on the market.... It probably has a really superb application in industry, but to make it even remotely affordable for domestic application it would take lots of research.... thus costing more money.... it just doesn't add up. :?

It looks to me as if it is a highly energy intensive manufacture process..... compare that to the likes of recycled bottles, recycled paper and sheeps wool.... it just doesn't justify itself IMO.


If part of it's properties is that it is clear (ie, possible use of application in windows) but the piece you have isn't clear..... hmmmm...
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dave45
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Re: Aerogel

Post: #144311 dave45
Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:11 pm

yes indeed - compare it to the alternatives "cradle-to-grave" .... I can't believe recycled bottle insulation is particularly good either !
But you also need to compare with the amount of energy you can save with it. All difficult questions to answer unambiguously.

dave45
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Re: Aerogel

Post: #145146 dave45
Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:23 pm

The last page of this contains a table that may answer questions of embedded or embodied energy and EE per unit of thermal insulation.

http://www.aerogel.com/Aspen_Aerogels_Spaceloft.pdf


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