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Aerogel insulation is a cutting-edge material that offers numerous benefits for construction and building insulation, including high thermal performance, low thermal conductivity, and low weight. Whether you’re using aerogels in walls, roofs, around windows, or around pipes, to maximize its performance and ensure it is used safely and sustainably, it is important to handle and maintain aerogel insulation correctly. In this article, we will explore the best practices for handling aerogel insulation blankets to ensure that they are used effectively and efficiently.
Proper storage of aerogel insulation blankets is critical to their effectiveness and longevity. To avoid damage or degradation of the material, it is important to store aerogel insulation in dry, cool, and well-ventilated area designated for its storage with minimal exposure to UV radiation. Because certain aerogel products can be dusty, it is preferred to wrap up the material such that dust tracking is mitigated, especially if storing them indoors, and make sure the material remains clear of contaminants.
Handling during Installation
Aerogel Insulation blankets should not be handled by dragging, lifting, and/or mounting onto vertical surfaces. To minimize airborne dust particulates, installation assembly may include sandwiching the material between layers of dust impermeable materials, such as rigid boards or flexible films to mitigate the release of dust. This should be performed horizontally onto the backside of a surface for vertical assembly, such as for walls.
Always request and read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) carefully for aerogel insulation. While aerogel particles are generally non-hazardous and not carcinogenic, excessive dust generated during handling can be harmful to human health. It is essential to use gloves, respirator masks, and other protective equipment when working extensively with aerogel insulation blankets.
Additionally, it is important to avoid bending, folding, lifting or throwing the insulation around, which can reduce its effectiveness as aerogel particles leave the blanket. Follow any specific handling instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Maintenance and Repair
Aerogel insulation requires very minimal care to maintain its effectiveness and to ensure that it continues to provide excellent thermal performance. Regular inspections should be performed to identify any damage or degradation of the material, including shedding of dust particulates that give aerogel blankets their bulk properties. Any necessary repairs by replacing sections should be carried out promptly.
When it is time to dispose of aerogel insulation, it is important to do so in a responsible and sustainable manner. Depending on the specific properties of the aerogel insulation being used, it may contain hazardous materials that need to be disposed of carefully. Additionally, it is important to follow any specific disposal instructions provided by the manufacturer or local authorities to avoid environmental damage or health and safety risks.
Proper handling and maintenance of aerogel insulation blankets are essential for maximizing their performance and ensuring that they are used safely and sustainably. By following best practices for storage, handling, maintenance, and disposal, you can maximize the benefits of aerogel insulation and ensure that your insulation investment provides optimal energy efficiency, comfort and in some cases increased fire resistance and safety.