Can vacuum insulation be effective at high temperatures?

Advancements in thermal technology introduce high temperature vacuum insulation solutions

High temperature vacuum insulation tube protects hand from high temperature flame
High temperature vacuum insulation by Insulon® Technology operates in applications up to 1000°C (1832°F)

Cryogenic systems benefit enormously from vacuum insulation. According to NASA, “Cryogenic thermal insulation systems that incorporate a vacuum environment can provide the lowest possible heat transfer.” But what about high temperature applications? Could vacuum insulation be an effective high temperature insulation material?

“Cryogenic thermal insulation systems that incorporate a vacuum environment can provide the lowest possible heat transfer.”

Kogan, A. “Cryogenic Vacuum Insulation for Vessels and Piping.” NASA.

Traditionally, vacuum insulation has not been used for high temperature applications due to a variety of issues. However, advancements in thermal technology are opening new doors for the incorporation of this highly effective insulation material in non-cryogenic systems.

Insulon® Technology represents advancements in high temperature vacuum insulation. Based on proprietary vacuum technology, Insulon® vacuum insulation is effective in applications up to 1000°C (1832°F).

Why is vacuum insulation considered the best known insulator?

Vacuums serve as high performance thermal barriers to prevent heat transfer due to thermal conduction and convection.

“With its complete lack of atoms, a vacuum is often considered to be the best known insulator.”

Zyga, L. “Scientists Create Material More Insulating than the Vacuum.” Phys.org.

While all vacuum insulation reduces heat transfer due to convection and conduction, the addition of multilayer insulation (MLI) can allow vacuum insulation to reduce heat transfer due to radiation as well. This can further increase vacuum insulation thermal performance. Just like our vacuum insulation, our proprietary MLI can perform in high temperature environments up to 1000°C (1832°F).

Advanced models of Insulon have MLI installed inside the vacuum annulus
Multilayer insulation (MLI) increases vacuum insulation performance by reducing radiation heat transfer

In addition to high temperature capabilities, Insulon® vacuum insulation offers an ultra thin profile, long term reliability, and low maintenance performance.

Ultra thin vacuum insulation

The overall wall thickness of Insulon® vacuum insulation can be as low as 0.25mm. Insulon® vacuum insulation is so thin, it can be used to insulate hypodermic needles. (Insulon® is suitable for surgical-grade and medical-grade insulation applications.)

Ultra thin vacuum insulation transports liquid nitrogen while maintaining safe external touch temperature
Ultra thin vacuum insulation transports liquid nitrogen (-196°C) while maintaining safe external touch temperature

Reliable insulation performance

Most vacuum insulation systems require pump downs in order to maintain high vacuum levels. Insulon® vacuum spaces are hermetic, gas-tight enclosures that maintain high quality vacuums for extended service life without pump down maintenance. In fact, Insulon® vacuum parts don’t even have pump down ports.

Low maintenance materials

With a vast number of insulation materials available, selecting the right one can be a challenging process. Many materials provide adequate insulation, but come with other problems. Materials may require tedious installation processes that include wrapping, spraying, or clamping. Some materials may be unsightly or have an odor. Wear and tear can introduce problems such as delamination or corrosion under insulation. Maintenance may include time consuming removal, inspection, and reinstallation.

Insulon® provides a solution to many of the problems posed by traditional insulation materials. Insulon® parts are low maintenance, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing. Stainless steel design resists corrosion. Installation does not require any accessories such as clamps or tape. With Insulon®, the insulation is built into the metal component, which is visible to the naked eye. Parts can be easily inspected without the need for insulation removal and reinstallation.