AEROSIL® is used in vacuum-insulation panels (VIP) and has been in the spotlight for years as an essential component of energy-efficient refrigerators.
With the development of vacuum-insulation panels (VIP) 20 years ago, Evonik delivered a particularly energy-efficient and economical solution. The panels are made with vacuum-packed AEROSIL® encased in several layers of a special film that is impermeable to air and moisture. The better the quality of the structure of the silica in its core, the better the insulation effect of VIP. The way VIPs work is similar to a Thermos jug. The vacuum conducts very little heat, thereby inhibiting convection (the natural transfer of heat).
The success story of VIPs containing AEROSIL® began just a few years ago, when rapidly rising energy costs resulted in increased pressure to save energy. Although they are considerably thinner than conventional insulating materials, VIPs are about eight times as effective as the polyurethane foam previously used in refrigerators, for example.
In practical terms, that means a meaningful reduction in energy consumption as well as more space inside the refrigerator. Vacuum-insulation panels make it easy to manufacture refrigerators that achieve A++ and A+++ energy-efficiency ratings. Today, thanks to their reliability as insulating material, VIPs are also used in portable coolers like the ones used to transport blood samples, medicine, and human organs, where a constant temperature is of utmost importance.
Besides being a standard component of refrigerators and deep freezes, VIPs containing AEROSIL® are also used in a number of other areas, including packaging and containers for temperature-sensitive products as well as retrofit insulation for buildings, for example, exterior facades and floors. And cold transport trucks are also increasingly taking advantage of VIPs, which helps them reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 %. Thus new applications and new markets are opening up all the time.