APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Thermal insulation in the building sector
- R-value/inch 2-4 times higher than competing technologies
- Mechanically robust
- Flexible to take the shape of any object
- Thermal contact resistance of nanoparticles
A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory team led by Ravi Prasher has developed a novel thermal super insulation. The insulation is a multilayer assembly of nanoparticles of various size, shape, form, and composition that are chemically treated to significantly lower thermal transport. Further, heat transfer is manipulated at interfaces between the materials. The technology has a thermal conductivity from ~0.016 to ~0.026 W/m·K and a density from ~5 to ~40 pounds per cubic feet.
LBNL technology has a comparable R-value per inch to aerogel technology but at a significantly lower cost. The LBNL invention also has significantly higher mechanical robustness compared to fragile, difficult-to-handle aerogel, and considerably higher flexibility compared to vacuum insulated panel (VIP), which frequently cannot be modified at a building site. While commonly used conventional insulations such as fiberglass, rock wool, expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and cellulose are relatively inexpensive, they are too thick and labor intensive to be cost-effective for many applications, such as retrofit projects in building sector. The LBNL insulation technology overcomes these limitations at a lower material cost.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Cost-Effective, Laser-Assisted In Situ Nanostructure Fabrication and Processing, JIB-2121