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Cabot Corporation Launches Nanogel Translucent Aerogel Insulation for Architectural Daylighting

Cabot Corporation : 03 November, 2003  (New Product)
Cabot Corporation launched Nanogel Translucent Aerogel, a revolutionary insulation and daylighting product, at the Batimat 2003 International Building Exhibition, on 3-8 November 2003, in Paris (F).
Nanogel Translucent Aerogel is the brand name for the nanoporous thermal insulation material manufactured exclusively by Cabot through a patented process. It is an extremely lightweight and versatile material that delivers thermal insulating and light transmitting factors two to four times better than other products currently on the market, while acting as a diffuser to distribute the light uniformly. Nanogel® is also a more effective sound insulator compared to glass fiber materials used today in skylights and translucent wall elements. It is permanently hydrophobic and therefore is moisture and mildew resistant.

In the design of industrial, commercial, and residential spaces, Nanogel® maximizes the advantages of natural light and allows architects greater design freedom within the K-values increasingly required by stricter building insulation codes. These benefits can be achieved without compromising light transmission aesthetics over the working lifecycle of its application.

Nanogel substantially exceeds the potential for light diffusion and thermal insulation, when compared with alternative materials used in the construction of translucent building elements such as glass reinforced polyester and translucent multi-wall polycarbonate panels, unit skylights, U-channel glass, and insulated flat-glass products.

This superior profile delivers better daylighting in living, leisure, and working environments, together with improved energy consumption and reduced HVAC costs.

Nanogel is a family of hydrophobic silica aerogels, which can be delivered in granule sizes ranging from a few microns to 4mm, depending on specific application requirements. Comprised of 97% air, Nanogel can be poured into translucent glazing panels and packed to prevent settling and has a density of 90kg/m3, producing a weight of just 90 g/litre. Furthermore, it improves acoustic insulation by 5 dB.

Although Nanogel is being introduced to European wide markets at Batimat, the product is already being specified for installations in both the USA and Europe.

In Europe, Nanogel filled polyester panels were used in roofing and façade elements in a recent completed state-owned school in Zurich, Switzerland. Scobalit, Winterthur, produced roofing materials measuring 2000 x 2000mm and façade panels measuring 5000 x 2500mm, both in 50mm gauge, covering 1000m2 and 350m2 respectively. Testing has shown a U-value of .48W/m2K, G-value of 25% and light transmission of 25%. The tangible value is diffused natural light with no shadow, energy savings and greater comfort for pupils and staff regardless of the season.

Cabot is the first company to develop a viable process for the commercial production of aerogels and, since establishing its Nanogel business in 1999, the Company has designed and constructed the world’s first continuous process plant exclusively for the manufacture of aerogel materials. This state-of-the-art-facility in Frankfurt, Germany, came on-line in October, 2002.

While translucent insulation for architectural elements provides the major initial focus for Nanogel, other applications such as spray-on insulation for vehicles, as well as acoustical insulation in a variety of applications, are also currently in development.
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