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Abstract: Vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) are highly insulative materials that have industrial applications. This study aimed to replace glass fibers (GF) and fumed silica (FS) in VIPs with diatomaceous earth (DE) and glass bubbles (GB) to reduce the production cost and lengthen the service life of VIPs. Three experiments were carried out using a thermal constants analyzer based on the transient plane source (TPS) method to determine the effectiveness of DE and GB in the use of VIPs. In the first experiment, adding DE and GB particles to the composite materials significantly improved their thermal conductivities. In the second experiment, it was determined that the introduction of GB to a FS composite generated identical thermal conductivity values to pure FS. In the third experiment, a theoretical model successfully predicted the thermal conductivity of ceramic and metal particles. Collectively, the experiments demonstrated that DE and GB composites could lengthen the service life of VIPs while reducing production costs in the future.

Reference: Master’s Thesis, Iowa State University (2015)