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The effect of barrier films and exposure on the aging of vacuum insulation panels with fumed silica cores...

by Antonio J Aldykiewicz Jr, Andre O Desjarlais, Kaushik Biswas
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
IVIS 2021 15th International Vacuum Insulation Symposium - April 11-12, 2022
Publication Date
Conference Name
15th International Vacuum Insulation Symposium (IVIS)
Conference Location
London, United Kingdom
Conference Sponsor
VIPA International
Conference Date

Vacuum insulation panels have very low thermal conductivities compared to conventional insulation materials. The reduction of the core pressure significantly lowers gas phase conduction and overall thermal conductivity. As a consequence, increases in gas pressure can significantly increase thermal conductivity of the VIP. In addition, the thermal conductivity of the core is sensitive to moisture content. For vacuum insulation panels with fumed silica cores, work shows that the measured thermal conductivity increases by 0.5 x 10-3 W/mK per mass percent increase in water content [1]. This is significant since the thermal conductivity of vacuum insulation panels with fumed silica cores is in the range of 0.004 W/mK. This work investigates the long-term behavior of vacuum insulation panels comprised of fumed silica cores with polymer (ethylene vinyl alcohol) and metalized (aluminized) barrier films exposed to different exposure conditions: ambient conditions; exterior conditions in a mixed humid climate; and 24oC and 80 percent relative humidity. Results show that the increase in thermal conductivity is more pronounced for vacuum insulation panels made using polymer barrier films compared to the same panel protected by a metalized film. The increase is more pronounced when exposed to high relative humidity, 80 percent. After almost two years exposure, the decrease in thermal conductivity for vacuum insulation panels protected by a metalized barrier films are between 4 and 11 percent depending on exposure condition. The smallest decrease is for ambient conditions where the largest decrease is for exposure to 80 percent relative humidity. Similar behavior was observed for panels protected using polymer films, except the decrease in thermal conductivity was significantly higher, between approximately 20 and 60 percent, in the same order as for panels protected by metalized films. Measurements are ongoing with an attempt to develop a better relationship between these types of tests and vacuum insulation panel service life.