Published : 2014-04-30

Can polyisocyanurate nanofoam challenge aerogels?


After 40 years of development polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation foams have become commercially successful commodity products with very desirable properties, like very low thermal conductivity, good fire resistance, low density and cheap, efficient manufacturing technologies. The industry strives to further improve their thermal resistance by reducing average cell size. However this approach has its theoretical limits due to the Knudsen effect and detrimental effects of cell size reduction on dimensional stability and aged thermal resistance of the foams. Further significant improvement of the PIR foams may be possible by changing their structure from closed cell micro-foams to open cell nanofoams, similar to morphology of silica aerogels and other polymeric aerogels.





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Mitchener, G. (2014). Can polyisocyanurate nanofoam challenge aerogels?. Polimery, 59(4), 339-342.