Vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) are regarded as one of the most promising existing high performance thermal insulation solutions on the market today as their thermal performance typically range 5–10 times better than traditional insulation materials. However, the VIPs have several disadvantages such as risk of puncturing by penetration of nails and that they cannot be cut or fitted at the construction site. Furthermore, thermal bridging due to the panel envelope and load-bearing elements may have a large effect on the overall thermal performance. Finally, degradation of thermal performance due to moisture and air diffusion through the panel envelope is also a crucial issue for VIPs. In this work, laboratory investigations have been carried out by hot box measurements. These experimental results have been compared with numerical simulations of several wall structure arrangements of vacuum insulation panels. Various VIP edge and overlap effects have been studied. Measured U-values from hot box VIP large-scale experiments correspond well with numerical calculated U-values when actual values of the various parameters are used as input values in the numerical simulations.
Aerogels are regarded as one of the most promising high performance thermal insulation materials for building applications today. With a thermal conductivity down to 13 mW/(m K) for commercial products they show remarkable characteristics compared to traditional thermal insulation materials. Also the possibility of high transmittances in the solar spectrum is of high interest for the construction sector. With the proper knowledge they give both the architect and engineer the opportunity of re-inventing architectural solutions. Within this work, a review is given on the knowledge of aerogel insulation in general and for building applications in particular.
Nanotechnology and possibilities for the thermal building insulation materials of tomorrow are explored within this work. That is, we are looking beyond both the traditional and the state-of-the-art thermal building insulation materials and solutions, e.g. beyond vacuum insulation panels (VIP). Thus advanced insulation material (AIM) concepts like vacuum insulation materials (VIM), gas insulation materials (GIM), nano insulation materials (NIM) and dynamic insulation materials (DIM) are introduced and defined. The VIMs and GIMs have closed pore structures, whereas the NIMs may have either open or closed pore structures. The objective of the DIMs are to dynamically control the thermal insulation material properties, e.g. solid state core conductivity, emissivity and pore gas content. In addition, fundamental theoretical studies aimed at developing an understanding of the basics of thermal conductance in solid state matter at an elementary and atomic level will also be carried out. The ultimate goal of these studies will be to develop tailor-make novel high performance thermal insulating materials and dynamic insulating materials, the latter one making it possible to control and regulate the thermal conductivity in the materials themselves, i.e. from highly insulating to highly conducting.