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Old 17-01-2012, 21:53   #1
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Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Some of you may not be hip to Aerogel yet and I would encourage you to explore it on Youtube and google it also. 10mm.(.400") has an R factor of 10.4. On this project I used 3 layer meaning R-31.2. Yet the total thickness gain is less than 1.5" on the outside of the box. The cost is about $6 @ sq. ft. So the insulation ended up around $250.




In photo 1, I constructed a male mold of Masonite (white on one side) epoxy tacked it, faired with bondo, primed, mold release and then Gel-coated it.

Photo 2 is a lay up with mat, cloth, then roving.

In the 3rd photo, you can see the flange for mounting it under the sink where the old front loader came out of my boat.

In photo 4 the Areogel is going on. Although they do not tell me it's safety issues, I would always wear a mask with this stuff. It powders terribly and has almost a static type ability to stick to absolutely everything.

Photo 5, I have wrapped it in clear wrap just because I did not know how it would react to polyester resin.

Finally in Photo 6 is a single layer of mat to encapsulate the Aerogel between the inner and outer box. Feel free to ask any questions. I am the Guinea pig on this one.

The salesman told me that he had sold to a fishing vessel that used it. They told him they had shut the refrigeration down for a day and discovered the box had dropped another degree in 24 hours. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 17-01-2012, 23:07   #2
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Re: Building a Refer box with Aerogel

Me too.
Three or more layers of Cryogel where possible, mainly around the freezer area and bottom.
Two layers on the aft bulkhead side and in the door simply because there was no room for more.
LED lighting with a door switch, new door gasket and shelf from Ebay.
Door shelving is removable if desired, attached to wide velcro strips.
I bonded the 1/8" FRP from Home Depot with fast cure 3M5200.
Wrapped all seams with fiberglass tape, then all around belts as well.
10 mm Cryogel insulation went over that, seams covered with 3" aluminum foil tape.
Everything is from scratch except the door, frame and hinges.
Vitrifrigo keel cooler and BD 35 compressor arriving soon.
Thermostat is a Coastal electronic with Merlin speed controller.
The "Isotherm" label is going to get removed.
The last picture is with all the insulation installed, and the box is ready to slide into its space on the boat.
I've got a bit of other things to do before installation, but Janet is already calling it her "Little Subzero".
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Old 18-01-2012, 00:11   #3
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Nice job Senor...I'm using a BD50 air cooled. It should be operational by spring and I will do some real world testing in the summer. By the way...the Mods change the title from Refer to Reefer. Now isn't Reefer what we use to do in High School?
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Old 18-01-2012, 01:38   #4
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Where did you purchase aerogel?
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Old 18-01-2012, 06:41   #5
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Freedom45.
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Old 18-01-2012, 07:59   #6
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom45 View Post
Where did you purchase aerogel?
I bought mine from Thermablok (813)980-1400. They were more than helpful spending time with me on the phone.
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Old 18-01-2012, 08:59   #7
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Some of you may not be hip to Aerogel yet and I would encourage you to explore it on Youtube and google it also. 10mm.(.400") has an R factor of 10.4. On this project I used 3 layer meaning R-31.2. Yet the total thickness gain is less than 1.5" on the outside of the box. The cost is about $6 @ sq. ft. So the insulation ended up around $250.
.
Thermabloks website says the R value is 10.3/inch. Therefore your three layers 0.4in equals 1.2in thich. Multiply 1.2in by 10.3 yields an R value of 12.36. Thats not very good. Needs to be at least 25 IMHO.
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Old 18-01-2012, 09:11   #8
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

I purchased mine from Pacorinc.com.
They were very helpful on the phone.
I mentioned what I was building, wanting to save electricity as much as possible, and followed their suggestions.
They thought any more than two layers was overkill !

While adding the insulation, I tried the propane torch against a scrap scenario.
It really works ! With the torch on full blast and about 3 inches away, the hot side of the insulation was orange incandescent in an 8" circle while the opposite side of a 10mm thick sheet was stone cold.

Re: the R value, it's at least twice as good as foam, so for my purposes it's GOT to be an improvement.
I had no extra room to have even 3 inches of insulation.

BTW, the stuff is extremely chalky so wear a mask, and whatever you do, DON'T TRACK IT INTO YOUR HOUSE !!
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Old 18-01-2012, 09:39   #9
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
Thermabloks website says the R value is 10.3/inch. Therefore your three layers 0.4in equals 1.2in thich. Multiply 1.2in by 10.3 yields an R value of 12.36. Thats not very good. Needs to be at least 25 IMHO.
.4 (thickness of one layer) times a factor of 3 is 1.2. it is R-10.3 per layer. There are 3 layers. Therefore 3 times R-10.3 Equals...are you ready?....here it comes...31.4
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Old 18-01-2012, 09:43   #10
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post

BTW, the stuff is extremely chalky so wear a mask, and whatever you do, DON'T TRACK IT INTO YOUR HOUSE !!

...Yes...I would like to emphasis again the need for a face mask and gloves and DO it outside if at all possible. The stuff sticks to everything. Even with a damp rag it refuses to come off my tools.
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:00   #11
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
.4 (thickness of one layer) times a factor of 3 is 1.2. it is R-10.3 per layer. There are 3 layers. Therefore 3 times R-10.3 Equals...are you ready?....here it comes...31.4

NO!!!!!!!! The R value is 10.3 per inch. The website clearly states that!!!

Thermablok Physical Properties

Thickness
Max. Use Temperature
Color
Density
Hydrophobic
Material Form
R-Value
0.40 in (10 mm)
390F (200C)
White
9.4 lb/ft3 (0.15 g/cc)
Yes
57 in (1,450 mm) wide 3/8" X 1.5" X 4' long
R-Value = 10.3 / inch
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:28   #12
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Still better than twice as good as anything else.

Thermablok Technical Support | Thermal Insulation

Thermablock is only 1.5 inches wide and is designed to attach to wall studs in house construction.
It's basically the same stuff as Aerogel, Cryogel etc.
http://www.aerogel.com/products/pdf/Cryogel_Z_DS.pdf

Technical Specifications
Manufacturer claims that product is a super insulator. See R-values provided in Product Descriptions and R-value comparison in table below.
Insulation Type
R-value (at 5mm thickness)
Silicon Aerogel Blanket
0.35
Polyester
0.083
Fibreglass
0.13
Polyurethane Foam
0.125
EPDM Foam
0.3
Cyrogel Z
Pyrogel 2250
Pyrogel XT
Spaceloft

http://www.ecospecifier.com.au/produ...px?prodid=3408


R-5 for blue or pink foam.
EPDM I believe is otherwise known as Thermax.
It's polyisocyanurate, but it sucks up water!
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:49   #13
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
...Yes...I would like to emphasis again the need for a face mask and gloves and DO it outside if at all possible. The stuff sticks to everything. Even with a damp rag it refuses to come off my tools.

Im planning on doing the same and am struggling with box contruction ideas. It looks like you chose to build the whole thing in your garage/driveway then install in the boat? Im not sure I could get my completed box through the companionway and will likely build on-board. I was planning on using a combination of aerogel and blue board foam for isulation. Im also thinking the way to get started is the build the liner first like you did then insulate my way out insuring a good bond between the liner and all subsequent insualtion layers. Is it polyester or epoxy resin that dissolves blue board foam? Also very curious how you plan to handle the top of your box? I see you built a flange on the liner. What will you use for top of the liner FRP? How will you bond the top and subsequent insulation and countertop? How do you plan to handle an opening?
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:52   #14
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
NO!!!!!!!! The R value is 10.3 per inch. The website clearly states that!!!

Thermablok Physical Properties

Thickness
Max. Use Temperature
Color
Density
Hydrophobic
Material Form
R-Value
0.40 in (10 mm)
390F (200C)
White
9.4 lb/ft3 (0.15 g/cc)
Yes
57 in (1,450 mm) wide 3/8" X 1.5" X 4' long
R-Value = 10.3 / inch

Hmmm...you might be right. When I'm done, I could also pour foam around it but the come out feature would be gone.
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:56   #15
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Re: Building a Reefer Box with Aerogel

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
Im planning on doing the same and am struggling with box contruction ideas. It looks like you chose to build the whole thing in your garage/driveway then install in the boat? Im not sure I could get my completed box through the companionway and will likely build on-board. I was planning on using a combination of aerogel and blue board foam for isulation. Im also thinking the way to get started is the build the liner first like you did then insulate my way out insuring a good bond between the liner and all subsequent insualtion layers. Is it polyester or epoxy resin that dissolves blue board foam? Also very curious how you plan to handle the top of your box? I see you built a flange on the liner. What will you use for top of the liner FRP? How will you bond the top and subsequent insulation and countertop? How do you plan to handle an opening?

The box mounts under the counter-top with angle flanges from within the box. There is an exposed area at the back of the box where an insert of insulation is attached. The lid ic Corian with insulation also.
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