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Aerogel-Based Composite/Hybrid Nanomaterials for Cost-Effective Building Super-Insulation Systems (AEROCOINs)
Start date: Jun 16, 2011, End date: Jun 15, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the context of global climate control policies, improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings represents a great challenge, worldwide as well as at the European level. Reducing the energy consumption of buildings is nowadays preferably achieved by increasing the thermal resistance of the insulation layer in the building envelope. The AEROCOINs project will make a significant contribution to the future reduction of energy consumption by decreasing heating and cooling demands of existing-buildings. A clever combination of sol-gel science and nanotechnology can greatly advance design and development of novel superinsulating aerogels. The AEROCOINs project proposes to create a new class of mechanically strong superinsulating aerogel composite/hybrid materials by overcoming the two major obstacles which have endured for so long and have prevented a more wide-spread use of silica-based aerogel insulation components in the building industry: i) strengthening of silica aerogels by cross-linking with cellulosic polymers or the incorporation of cellulose-based nanofibres and ii) lowering the production cost of monolithic plates or boards of composite/hybrid aerogel materials via ambient drying and continuous production technology. Acting on these two incentives, new superinsulating aerogel-based monolithic materials with improved thermo-mechanical properties will be synthesized at the laboratory scale, developed further to the pilot scale under the shape of superinsulating panels, integrated in well-suited envelope components which will then be used for energy and ageing evaluation purposes via the integration of the aerogel-based components in a demonstration wall. In addition, a complete LCA study of the component will be realized and a fabrication concept for cost effective mass production (based on a continuous elaboration process) will be laid out for further pre-industrial development
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