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Title: Noble-gas-infused neoprene closed-cell foams achieving ultra-low thermal conductivity fabrics

Abstract

Closed-cell foams are widely applied as insulation and essential for the thermal management of protective garments for extreme environments. In this work, we develop and demonstrate a strategy for drastically reducing the thermal conductivity of a flexible, closed-cell polychloroprene foam to 0.031 ± 0.002 W m-1 K-1, approaching values of an air gap (0.027 W m-1 K-1) for an extended period of time (>10 hours), within a material capable of textile processing. Ultra-insulating neoprene materials are synthesized using high-pressure processing at 243 kPa in a high-molecular-weight gas environment, such as Ar, Kr, or Xe. A Fickian diffusion model describes both the mass infusion and thermal conductivity reduction of the foam as a function of processing time, predicting a 24–72 hour required exposure time for full charging of a 6 mm thick 5 cm diameter neoprene sample. These results enable waterproof textile insulation that approximates a wearable air gap. We demonstrate a wetsuit made of ultra-low thermally conductive neoprene capable of potentially extending dive times to 2–3 hours in water below 10 °C, compared with <1 hour for the state-of-the-art. This work introduces the prospect of effectively wearing a flexible air gap for thermal protection in harsh environments.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, George Mason University, USA, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
  2. Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT, USA
  3. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT, USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; US Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR); King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
OSTI Identifier:
1454640
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1499910
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-08ER46488
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
RSC Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: RSC Advances Journal Volume: 8 Journal Issue: 38; Journal ID: ISSN 2046-2069
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Moran, Jeffrey L., Cottrill, Anton L., Benck, Jesse D., Liu, Pingwei, Yuan, Zhe, Strano, Michael S., and Buongiorno, Jacopo. Noble-gas-infused neoprene closed-cell foams achieving ultra-low thermal conductivity fabrics. United Kingdom: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1039/C8RA04037K.
Moran, Jeffrey L., Cottrill, Anton L., Benck, Jesse D., Liu, Pingwei, Yuan, Zhe, Strano, Michael S., & Buongiorno, Jacopo. Noble-gas-infused neoprene closed-cell foams achieving ultra-low thermal conductivity fabrics. United Kingdom. doi:10.1039/C8RA04037K.
Moran, Jeffrey L., Cottrill, Anton L., Benck, Jesse D., Liu, Pingwei, Yuan, Zhe, Strano, Michael S., and Buongiorno, Jacopo. Mon . "Noble-gas-infused neoprene closed-cell foams achieving ultra-low thermal conductivity fabrics". United Kingdom. doi:10.1039/C8RA04037K.
@article{osti_1454640,
title = {Noble-gas-infused neoprene closed-cell foams achieving ultra-low thermal conductivity fabrics},
author = {Moran, Jeffrey L. and Cottrill, Anton L. and Benck, Jesse D. and Liu, Pingwei and Yuan, Zhe and Strano, Michael S. and Buongiorno, Jacopo},
abstractNote = {Closed-cell foams are widely applied as insulation and essential for the thermal management of protective garments for extreme environments. In this work, we develop and demonstrate a strategy for drastically reducing the thermal conductivity of a flexible, closed-cell polychloroprene foam to 0.031 ± 0.002 W m-1 K-1, approaching values of an air gap (0.027 W m-1 K-1) for an extended period of time (>10 hours), within a material capable of textile processing. Ultra-insulating neoprene materials are synthesized using high-pressure processing at 243 kPa in a high-molecular-weight gas environment, such as Ar, Kr, or Xe. A Fickian diffusion model describes both the mass infusion and thermal conductivity reduction of the foam as a function of processing time, predicting a 24–72 hour required exposure time for full charging of a 6 mm thick 5 cm diameter neoprene sample. These results enable waterproof textile insulation that approximates a wearable air gap. We demonstrate a wetsuit made of ultra-low thermally conductive neoprene capable of potentially extending dive times to 2–3 hours in water below 10 °C, compared with <1 hour for the state-of-the-art. This work introduces the prospect of effectively wearing a flexible air gap for thermal protection in harsh environments.},
doi = {10.1039/C8RA04037K},
journal = {RSC Advances},
number = 38,
volume = 8,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1039/C8RA04037K

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: (a) SEM image of unaltered neoprene foam. A magnified SEM is shown in the inset. (b) Process flow for infusing insulating gases into neoprene foam. (c) Experimental thermal conductivities of neoprene foams when infused with the indicated gases. Our experimental measurements are compared with those of the Maxwell'smore » model, eqn (1). Thermal conductivities for the gases considered in this work:17 air (0.026 W m-1 K-1), Ar (0.018 W m-1 K-1), Kr (0.0095 W m-1 K-1), and Xe (0.0055 W m-1 K-1). For experiments, the plotted data represent the average of at least 3 measurements and error bars represent one standard deviation in each direction. For the Maxwell data, error bars reflect uncertainty in the estimate due to uncertainty in the estimate of porosity from SEM images. (d) Measured thermal conductivity of neoprene vs. time for the indicated filling gases, as compared to the control (air). Gas discharge takes place over a time scale that depends mainly on the insulating gas. All measurements are estimated to be within 7% of the actual values.« less

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Review of clothing for thermal management with advanced materials
    journal, May 2019


    Review of clothing for thermal management with advanced materials
    journal, May 2019


      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.