Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
New technology insulates bare metal
Article Type: New products From: Pigment & Resin Technology, Volume 40, Issue 5
New formulation additive Enova™ aerogel has been launched at the European Coatings Show in Nuremberg, Germany by the Cabot Corporation. Cabot is a global manufacturer of specialty chemical and performance materials. This revolutionary high performance thermal additive has been specifically created for formulators and paint manufacturers. It is designed to supplement their water-based coatings enabling them to offer radically improved insulation properties across their product range. It can be used on any metallic substrate to provide a layer of insulation. The applications for this new technology are almost limitless. They range from industrial or temperature controlled environments and cool rooms through to metal roofs and some domestic situations.
Enova™ aerogel is manufactured from aerogel, the world’s best insulating solid material, supplied in particle form. Each particle consists of more than 90 percent air trapped within a network of amorphous silica, making it twice as insulating as still air. The exceptionally low thermal conductivity of 12 mW/mK makes Enova™ aerogel far superior to traditional insulations, such as PU foam (typically 30 mW/mK) and additives such as glass or ceramic microspheres. When used in water-borne formulations, the resulting coating can achieve a thermal conductivity of 30-50 mW/mK, which is seven to ten times more insulating than standard paint. The advantages of Enova™ aerogel are many. Cabot researchers have found that applying a 1-mm coating containing Enova™ aerogel to a 200°C metal surface meets US and European testing protocols for safe touch temperature, preventing the first-degree burns one would normally expect within 5 s of skin contact. This not only protects employees but helps keep the contents at the desired temperature. Coatings containing Enova™ aerogel can also be used to insulate cold surfaces, helping to eliminate freezer burns and to reduce the power requirements needed to keep their contents cold. In addition, unlike other insulation coatings which have a surface effect, Enova™ aerogel has a bulk effect; this means improved performance can be achieved with multiple layers. The insulation is inert, does not deteriorate over time and does not interact with the base formulation. It is also hydrophobic helping to make the formulation water resistant.
The exceptional performance of Cabot’s Enova™ aerogel means it can be applied during formulation or be added to coatings in the field. Perfect for environmentally friendly packaged solutions, Enova™ is an eco-friendly material and also a Silver Cradle to Cradle Certified™ material. This stringent independent certification process by MBDC examines a product’s manufacturing characteristics, its ecological impact and recyclability. The aim is to eliminate waste entirely and to create a healthy and sustainable society. Enova™ aerogel – providing formulators with a world of opportunity (www.cabotaerogel.com)