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Title: Advanced Insulation for High Performance Cost-Effective Wall, Roof, and Foundation Systems Final Report

The objective of this project was to explore and potentially develop high performing insulation with increased R/inch and low impact on climate change that would help design highly insulating building envelope systems with more durable performance and lower overall system cost than envelopes with equivalent performance made with materials available today. The proposed technical approach relied on insulation foams with nanoscale pores (about 100 nm in size) in which heat transfer will be decreased. Through the development of new foaming methods, of new polymer formulations and new analytical techniques, and by advancing the understanding of how cells nucleate, expand and stabilize at the nanoscale, Dow successfully invented and developed methods to produce foams with 100 nm cells and 80% porosity by batch foaming at the laboratory scale. Measurements of the gas conductivity on small nanofoam specimen confirmed quantitatively the benefit of nanoscale cells (Knudsen effect) to increase insulation value, which was the key technical hypotheses of the program. In order to bring this technology closer to a viable semi-continuous/continuous process, the project team modified an existing continuous extrusion foaming process as well as designed and built a custom system to produce 6" x 6" foam panels. Dow demonstrated for themore » first time that nanofoams can be produced in a both processes. However, due to technical delays, foam characteristics achieved so far fall short of the 100 nm target set for optimal insulation foams. In parallel with the technology development, effort was directed to the determination of most promising applications for nanocellular insulation foam. Voice of Customer (VOC) exercise confirmed that demand for high-R value product will rise due to building code increased requirements in the near future, but that acceptance for novel products by building industry may be slow. Partnerships with green builders, initial launches in smaller markets (e.g. EIFS), and efforts to drive cost down will help acceptance in residential and commercial retrofit and new construction.« less
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  1. Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Conferences/Proceedings: OSTI IDs: 1111339, 1111336, 1111338
Research Org:
The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY nanotechnology, insulation, foam, nanofoam