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Old 06-03-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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Anyone tried aerogel insulation?

Has anyone tried to use aerogel insulation in an airstream? It's light, flexible, and it has a very high R-value. Looks promising.

ASPEN AEROGELS
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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Pursuing insulation to the nth degree still doesn't get past the thermal conduction at every rib. The inner skin is an integral part of the monocoque shell, so ideas to isolate ribs from the inner skin need to factor in that stiffness requirement.

Work with foams a few decades back showed that road movement ground them to dust. DIY-ers have been trying newer foams in some of their rehab projects. The story still isn't complete...
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:00 PM   #3
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Has anyone tried to use aerogel insulation in an airstream? It's light, flexible, and it has a very high R-value. Looks promising.

ASPEN AEROGELS
Aerogel may work if you can get it to stay attached to the outer skin and protect it from rubbing on the inside skin.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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This isn't really a foam. It comes in flexible sheets, so I doubt that it would break up the way that spry-on foam does.

Aspen also sells a product that's designed to fit on the face of 2x4's and 2x6's to minimize thermal bridging. The stuff has R-value of 10 per inch, so even applying less than 1/2 inch to the ribs on an Airstream should make a big difference. But it may not be possible since the inner shell is also structural.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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Probably best to stay with a tried-and-true solution.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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Aerogel is weird stuff. I would guess that Aspen has managed to mix it into a fibrous matrix of some sort -- only one brief glimpse at:
YouTube - Aspen Aerogel video presentation

I worked two weeks on Hawai`i with a JPL physicist who worked on the Stardust spacecraft that harvested dust from a comet's tail with aerogel. Except the parachute didn't work and it crashed on return to Utah. They salvaged the aerogel experiment and yielded a lot of science.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:25 PM   #7
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Aerogel is [deleted] I would guess that Aspen has managed to mix it into a fibrous matrix of some sort -- only one brief glimpse at:
Aerogel is really neat stuff!
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:05 PM   #8
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It is cool stuff. I have a small sample from Aspen Aerogel. They have figured out how to make it flexible. Not sure about the cost, though.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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57" wide rolls? Wonder if they would barter for old trailer parts...
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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57" wide rolls? Wonder if they would barter for old trailer parts...
Cash is king in tough economic times.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:08 AM   #11
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I am ressurecting this old thread in hopes that maybe someone is still interested in kicking around some ideas for using Aerogel as insulation. I have a 34" and we live in it full time. I love everything about the airstream life and dream of my trailer being able to hold its temperature.

I was thinking of removing the mouse fur and foam padding in my trailer and covering the interior walls with Aerogel. Then covering the Aerogel w 2 coats of American Clay Plaster. The plaster will add about 100 pounds to the weight of the trailer and I am not sure about the Aerogel. I won't lose too much space as it wont be much thicker than the existing mouse fur.

There are several streamers already experimenting with the Clay with good results. No cracking as it does have quite a bit of flex (plus easy as pie to repair if it did crack), an end to condensation as it serves as a humidity buffer, and it is beautiful w a great color selection.

To avoid the "cost prohibitive comments" let me remind you that we are full timers and we are not sinking our money into a mud and sticks house. We view the airstream as our forever home and don't mind investing in the place we plan on living in when we're 80+.

Comments anyone?
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:48 AM   #12
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Are you applying it to the inside of the interior walls? Is that what you meant? If so, my only concern would be that it forces you to either compress it oddly at the wall and cabinet seams, or you will have to do a lot of trimming to make it look perfect. Are you using the spaceloft option at 0.40" thickness? Seems like the best for our application, but I did nowhere near the research that I'm sure you have.

I'm interested to hear the results if you do install it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:11 PM   #13
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Are you applying it to the inside of the interior walls? Is that what you meant? If so, my only concern would be that it forces you to either compress it oddly at the wall and cabinet seams, or you will have to do a lot of trimming to make it look perfect. Are you using the spaceloft option at 0.40" thickness? Seems like the best for our application, but I did nowhere near the research that I'm sure you have.

I'm interested to hear the results if you do install it.
Exactly, adhering directly to the wall in place of mouse fur and foam ceiling. Then cover the aerogel with the American clay plaster for a smooth finished look.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #14
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Aerogel has near zero strength on its own, the best residential applications I've seen has it laminated within gypsum sheetrock to provide structural integrity and ease of application.

215 square feet of 10mm aerogel for $1000.

That would make a nice textured ceiling overlay but god help us if anyone ever needed to pull the liners - or if gravity & vibration started delaminating it!
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