Cryogel Z is a silica aerogel with an integrated vapor barrier that is used for insulation in industrial processes. The product ha a low thermal conductivity, is resistant to compression and is hydrophobic, making it an ideal material for insulating low-temperature industrial components. The product is made from silica aerogel nanopore material woven with reinforcing fibers, making it a thin, flexible product that is easy to install and maintain.
Silica aerogel has the lowest known thermal conductivity of any known solid material, which helps prevent heat gain and liquid boil-off. The silica aerogel matrix is fabricated through a number of different processes, with silicon Alkoxide Gelation being the most common. This process involves reacting silicon alkoxides with water in a solvent, growing silica nanoparticles that then aggregate into a nanopore structure. The gel is then cured and stabilized before it is integrated into products such as Cryogel Z.
- Cryogel--Z Data Sheet.; 2012. Available from: http://www.aerogel.com/products/pdf/Cryogel_Z_DS.pdf
This technology reduces the thermal conductivity of industrial processes while creating a vapor barrier for sub-ambient temperature applications.
This product reduces the thermal conductivity of industrial processes, thus acting as an insulator while reducing the costs and time of installation.
The manufacture of silica aerogel is an in-situ process so there are no aerosolized nanoparticles produced as a by-product of manufacture. The risk lies in the chemical processes of manufacture especially when silicon alkoxide gelation techniques are used. The vapor from silicon alkoxide gelation manufacturing is active and can create silica nanogel growth in lungs and sensitive mucus membranes if inhaled. Once cured and stabilized, the aerogel poses little human health risks beyond irritation from inhaling dust during cutting and installation. Installation safeguards similar to installing other types of insulation should be followed when handling aerogel insulations.