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Old 31-05-2011, 10:12   #1
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Icebox Insulation

I have been planning to build an icebox with refrigeration in Sans Souci, but have been stymied because I have not been able to find a good insulating material. I've looked at semi-vacuum panels which are hellishly expensive and rigid foam insulation which needs to be 4 inches thick to get reasonable R-value, approx 24.

This past weekend we borrowed a soft sided rolling cooler made by Igloo. The cool holding was just incredible. We put 2 bags of ice cubes in and loaded it with beer, soda, water, and sandwiches. Loaded on Friday, on Monday we had no ice but seriously cold beverages. The gel insulation is about 1/2" thick, covered with fabric on the outside and an impermeable membrane liner on the inside. So my question is whether it makes sense to buy several of them at about $60.00 each (I may need 5 or 6) and cut them to fit. If I go that route, I would layer plywood both inside and outside.

Comments are not only welcome but solicited.

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Old 31-05-2011, 11:07   #2
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Re: Icebox Insulation

Norm,
I converted and ice box to adlor barber refrigeration. The first year afterwards it was depleating the battery bank every other day. The unit was built into the counter space so I drilled 1/4 inch holes from the top. Used six cans of spray in foam and the thing keeps ice cream! At the time, most recommendations were to use a blue colored high rated foam slabs that could be cut to size. I did the foam because I'm basicley lazy.
All the best,
Clif
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Old 31-05-2011, 11:10   #3
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Re: Icebox Insulation

Cliff,
Do you know how thick the foam is? I have considered using it, but I haven't found out how much to use.
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Old 31-05-2011, 11:12   #4
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Re: Icebox Insulation

Averages no less than four inches.
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Old 31-05-2011, 11:19   #5
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Re: Icebox Insulation

I used the spray foam as I didn't want to disassemble my galley cabinets to put in sheets of insulation. Plus the expanding foam gets into nooks and crannies sheets won't get into...
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Old 31-05-2011, 12:37   #6
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Re: Icebox Insulation

Aspen Aerogels Spaceloft

This is the insulation that's inside the vacuum panels, it's pretty affordable by itself and has an R value of 10.3 per inch (compared to an R value of 4 per inch for the blueboard insualtion). Search the forums here, a few people have used it to insulate marine reefers, I'm getting ready to do mine and am going to use it along with a Glacier Bay hatch.
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Old 31-05-2011, 12:52   #7
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Re: Icebox Insulation

If you are building from scratch you can use styrofoam if you use epoxy resins. Polyester will disolve styrofoam.
Surfboard foam sheets can be found from time to time through various sources. I bought Clark foam many years ago but I don't know if they are in existence today.
There is a two part expandable foam that just requires you to mix the two parts together and pour it into the space you want to fill. Watch out though because if you use too much or it isn't open to one side it'll break bulkheads when it expands to fill the space.
Or you could go down to the local hardware and buy the spray foam but it does retain moisture once it gets wet.
Good luck.
kind regards,
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:58   #8
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Re: Icebox Insulation

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Originally Posted by garymcg View Post
Aspen Aerogels Spaceloft

This is the insulation that's inside the vacuum panels, it's pretty affordable by itself and has an R value of 10.3 per inch (compared to an R value of 4 per inch for the blueboard insualtion). Search the forums here, a few people have used it to insulate marine reefers, I'm getting ready to do mine and am going to use it along with a Glacier Bay hatch.

Where can you purchase this insulation?
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Old 03-06-2011, 16:10   #9
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Re: Icebox Insulation

SV,

This is their website. BuyAerogel.com
There are several different formulations, so the site makes for interesting reading.

Norm
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Old 03-06-2011, 17:28   #10
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Re: Icebox Insulation

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Where can you purchase this insulation?
Welcome | Anchor Insulation - home and commercial insulation services, Providence, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire

Don't buy from buyaerogels.com, that's not Aspen Aerogels site and their prices are outrageous, almost 5x what Anchor Insulation charges.

Call Aspen Aerogels and tell them what you're planning, they'll provide a ton of info over the phone. The stuff can be laminated in layers like fiberglass, etc.
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Old 04-06-2011, 00:00   #11
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Re: Icebox Insulation

Where would you find a compressor to turn an ice box into a fridge?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:34   #12
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Re: Icebox Insulation

Waeco and Engel make compressors and evaporation plates for icebox conversions. I think the Engel retails for about $870 here in Aus, alot cheaper than their portable chests.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:21   #13
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Re: Icebox Insulation

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Originally Posted by garymcg View Post
Welcome | Anchor Insulation - home and commercial insulation services, Providence, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire

Don't buy from buyaerogels.com, that's not Aspen Aerogels site and their prices are outrageous, almost 5x what Anchor Insulation charges.

Call Aspen Aerogels and tell them what you're planning, they'll provide a ton of info over the phone. The stuff can be laminated in layers like fiberglass, etc.

Followed the link but did not see anything about aerogel or where to purchase.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:49   #14
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Re: Icebox Insulation

I'm with SV Demeter.

They look more like an engineering company.
I think I will give them a call tomorrow and hear what they have to say.

Norm
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Old 14-08-2011, 21:58   #15
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Re: Icebox Insulation

So Nautiguy what did you find out?
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