Aerogel, pioneered by NASA for the Space Program, is the best insulating solid in the world. Until the end of the first decade of 2000, aerogel had been priced out of the commercial market and only available for major industrial and government contracts. Due to its extremely low thermal conductivity, sound dampening, and breathable superhydrophobic properties, aerogel is the best material for formulations requiring acoustic and thermal insulation and is the additive technology of choice in eCoat Solutions’ acoustic & thermal coatings.
Why use Aerogel?
Best in class acoustic insulation – Aerogel particles consist of around 99% air in a crystalline metal structure. Its porous structure is smaller than the mean free path of air, greatly limiting acoustic and thermal conductivity, and thus greatly enhancing its acoustic and thermal performance. On average, aerogel reduces the speed of the soundwave passing through it from 343m/s to 70-100m/s, making it a very effective sound dampener. Best in class thermal insulation – For thermal applications, compared to traditional materials used in thermally insulating coatings such as glass and ceramic spheres, at less than 25 mW/m·K aerogel powders have the lowest thermal conductivity on the market. Aerogels excellent thermal insulating properties are due to their ability to almost nullify two of the three methods of heat transfer – conduction and convection - the sponge-like microstructure of the aerogel inhibits air circulating through the aerogel lattice. They are good conductive insulators because they are composed almost entirely of air, which is a very poor heat conductor. eCoat uses Silica-based aerogel powders that are especially good insulators because silica exemplifies air's poor heat conduction. Breathable and superhydrophobic – Aerogels are a breathable superhydrophobic material, causing water droplets to have a greater than 170-degree contact angle and not allowing it to pass through the material, but the porous structure is but also open to water vapor, making it possible to design waterproof coating systems with moisture vapor management and control. Ultraviolet and Infrared Reflective – Aerogel particles high surface area and complex surface structure disperse light waves, preventing ultraviolet light from passing through the material, and reflects infrared rays which reduces heat absorption into the coated surfaces when added to both light and dark coatings. Self-cleaning – hydrophobic properties of aerogel create a surface that resists dust and dirt absorption and causes water to bead up and roll off, removing surface debris.
eCoat Solutions coatings go beyond just providing superior acoustic and thermal efficiency performance. The also increase workplace safety and prolong the lifetime of equipment and coated surfaces. By utilizing aerogel in commercial grade coatings, eCoat Solutions has developed cost effective next generation self-cleaning insulating coatings that are shown to provide: Worksite safety and protection – provides a burn protection barrier that helps prevent serious worksite accidents. Ultra-low heat transfer – dramatically more efficient than other thermal coatings providing more energy savings in the same space. Corrosion resistance – hydrophobic coating bonds directly to most materials, preventing gaps where corrosion can begin and releasing any moisture trapped during application. Fast application – standard application practices paired with higher build coats decreases labor costs and quickens return to service.
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