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Old 08-01-2009, 12:23   #1
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Super Insulation - Ideas?

Hi Everyone! Any forum members out there using modern insulation in the construction of their Icebox / Fridge / Freezer units? By modern I mean anything other than poured or closed cell foam sheets? I'm sure somebody here has found something better... Thanks, Chris
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Old 08-01-2009, 13:03   #2
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Two come to mind: 1) Vacuum insulated panels, aka, VIPs are the more affordable. 2) Aerogel.
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Old 08-01-2009, 13:31   #3
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BARRIER Ultra-R Aerogel Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs)- Thermal Insulation.

They sell aerogel sealed inside panels, so it doesn't have the typical fault of VIPs where if they become punctured they loose all of their insulative value. However, it would fall to an R value of 9, which their own website states would be insufficient for a refrigerator much less a freezer. I'm not sure how pragmatic these panels are considering that one inch of closed cell foam has a age stabilized R value of 6.5, and that 3" would be sufficient for R-20 for a refrigerator and 5" would be sufficient for a freezer, and that it's incredibly cheap. If you've got limited space though for foam, it would make sense perhaps.


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Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
Hi Everyone! Any forum members out there using modern insulation in the construction of their Icebox / Fridge / Freezer units? By modern I mean anything other than poured or closed cell foam sheets? I'm sure somebody here has found something better... Thanks, Chris
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Old 08-01-2009, 14:58   #4
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Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
BARRIER Ultra-R Aerogel Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs)- Thermal Insulation.

They sell aerogel sealed inside panels, so it doesn't have the typical fault of VIPs where if they become punctured they loose all of their insulative value. However, it would fall to an R value of 9, which their own website states would be insufficient for a refrigerator much less a freezer.
Before I get started, this is link to lower cost custom VIP panels you can have made.

Right. I've seen that before but the aerogel in it is basically little chunks -- it isn't a solid panel. The solid stuff is quite expensive and I don't know if you could get a full panel. But the properties of the aerogel are indisputable. From the Wikipedia entry:

Quote:
It has remarkable thermal insulative properties, having an extremely low thermal conductivity: from 0.03 W/m·K[8] down to 0.004 W/m·K,[5] which correspond to R-values of 14 to 105 for 3.5 inch thickness. For comparison, typical wall insulation is 13 for 3.5 inch thickness. Its melting point is 1,473 K (1,200 °C or 2,192 °F).
Now, on the other hand, have you ever had a refer box damaged? I am not talking about the plate. A lot of boxes are the lining, the insulation and the outer skin. That seems to work pretty well so if the panel gets damaged to the point where the vacuum leaks, you probably have more immediate issues.
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Old 08-01-2009, 17:34   #5
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Hi guys, and thanks for the posts! Well, the aerogel panels are some of the most expensive building materials I've ever seen. I'm gonna count them out. The Rparts vacuum panel aren't as bad. I would even consider doubling them up just for the doors (hatches) on the fridge and freezer. I guess I will be using foam panels with a reflective insulation on the outside everywhere else, as I have room for at least 6" all around. Nigel says more is probably overkill...
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Old 08-01-2009, 22:54   #6
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How about a spryed urethane foam material like corbond. Tremendous r-values. Do they make a marine version? I believe that urethane is waterproof.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:20   #7
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Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
Hi guys, and thanks for the posts! Well, the aerogel panels are some of the most expensive building materials I've ever seen. I'm gonna count them out. The Rparts vacuum panel aren't as bad. I would even consider doubling them up just for the doors (hatches) on the fridge and freezer. I guess I will be using foam panels with a reflective insulation on the outside everywhere else, as I have room for at least 6" all around. Nigel says more is probably overkill...
I think Rparts recommends a panel with spray foam. That seems to be pretty sensible.
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Old 10-01-2009, 15:33   #8
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I used a product called Armaflex which is a flexible, foam rubber-like insulation. It comes in both sheets and rolls, and was very easy to work with. It is also thin enough, that I was able to put on two sheets. It has held up great, and works well.
I don't know how much it costs.

http://www.armacell.com/www/armacell...e?OpenDocument
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Old 10-01-2009, 16:55   #9
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Hi Sound! I cant find any info about using Armaflex as insulation against temp, only mechanical insulation...do you the R-Value? Thanks, Chris
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Old 10-01-2009, 18:00   #10
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Hi Sound! I cant find any info about using Armaflex as insulation against temp, only mechanical insulation...do you the R-Value? Thanks, Chris
The R value is going to depend on the thickness of the sheet. It is used on heating and air-conditioning ducts. It is not a "sound" insulation. There should be an 800 number or an email address on the link.
It's not something you are going to find at West Marine or Home Depot, but if you look for insulation in the yellow pages or online, you should be able to find someone who will sell you a small amount. I got it through a friend who does construction work on a lot of schools and municipal buildings.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:51   #11
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AP/Armaflex Sheet and Roll Insulation meets the ASHRAE energy code requirements for R-Value R4.2 at 1" wall thickness, and R-Value R8 at 2" wall thickness.
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Old 11-01-2009, 13:37   #12
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Isn't that relatively low, Gord?
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Old 11-01-2009, 13:47   #13
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Relative to what?
Dow Styrofoam (polystyrene) insulation has an R-Value of between 3.84 (“White” expanded), 4.92 (“Blue” extruded SM) at 1" thick.
Of course, Silica Aerogel might have an R-value of about R-10, and Vacuum Insulated Panels about R-30 (at 1" thick)
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Old 11-01-2009, 14:28   #14
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I thought "blue" was a little higher...sorry.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:46   #15
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I am only speaking from my personal experience. I am sure there are products that have a better R-value. The reason I recommended it, is because IMO I was able to do a better job with it. My icebox is not perfectly square or flush.
I was able to get good contact with the box because the material is pliable.
It also holds up against moisture. No matter how good a certain product is, if it is difficult to do a good job, the advantages are lost.
Also, it only cost me a 12 pack of beer.
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