Fraunhofer CSE develops PIR-based SIAP

Fraunhofer CSE is leading the effort to develop a polyisocyanurate (PIR)-based Super Insulation at Atmospheric Pressure (SIAP) that (1) can reach R-12 hr·ft2·°F/Btu·in (λ= 12 mW/m·K), (2) is mechanically robust and (3) is cost-competitive to conventional plastic foams by employing freeze drying instead of the supercritical drying. Freeze drying reduces capital expenditures by a factor of ten and total costs by about 70% compared to supercritical drying. Furthermore, the PIR-based SIAP does not experience thermal aging, uses no environmentally harmful blowing agents, and will have superior fire resistance compared to most conventional foams used in the U.S. In addition, the developed insulation is significantly stronger compared to the silica aerogels. Currently, we are focusing to attain high R-value by reducing pore gas conduction via reaching pore sizes of 20-50 nm (Knudsen regime at atmospheric pressure). We have developed methods to control particle and pore sizes. We are working to simultaneously optimize the strength and thermal performance of isocyanate-derived polymer aerogels.


Nitin Shukla, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Staff, Building Enclosures and Materials
Office +1 (617) 714-6519