High Performance Vacuum Insulation: Thermal Analyses

For applications from -270°C to 1000°C

With Insulon® Technology, we customize insulation performance to suit your application. Our goal is to provide ideal insulation for your system in order to conserve heat, reduce energy demands, and improve overall performance. All Insulon® parts drastically reduce convective and conductive heat transfer. For the most demanding applications, it may be necessary to reduce heat transfer due to radiation as well. For these applications, our engineers may incorporate our proprietary high-temperature multilayer insulation (MLI) to reduce radiation heat transfer.

If you have questions about thermal insulation performance in your specific application, contact us.

High Temperature Insulation Performance

High temperature vacuum insulation surface temperature analysis conducted at steady-state

Surface Temperature Analysis

Insulon® vacuum insulation can be designed for high-temperature applications up to 1000°C. In this analysis, hot air from a heat gun was transported through a 6-inch long Insulon® tube with 1.1mm overall wall thickness and allowed to reach steady state. The graph above compares the external surface temperature of the vacuum insulated tube at steady-state to the hot air temperature at the inlet. External surface temperature was measured at the midpoint (3 inches along the 6-inch tube). Ambient temperature was 23°C.

Vacuum insulated tube dimensions:

  • Length: 6 in. (152.4 mm)
  • Outer diameter (OD): 0.563 in. (14.3 mm)
  • Inner diameter (ID): 0.480 in. (12.2 mm)
  • Overall wall thickness: 0.042 in. (1.1 mm)
Thin vacuum insulated tube with Insulon Technology. 6 inches long, 0.56 inch OD, 0.50 inch ID
Insulon® vacuum insulated tube. 6 inches long, 0.50 inch ID, 0.56 inch OD. Overall wall thickness 0.042 inches (1.1 mm).
High temperature vacuum insulation temperature drop analysis comparing inlet and outlet temperatures

Inlet-Outlet Temperature Drop Analysis

Temperature drop can be measured by comparing the inlet and outlet temperatures of material entering and exiting a tube or pipe. In this analysis, a 1/4″ ID vacuum insulated tube with 1.6mm overall wall thickness transported hot air from a heat gun while inlet and outlet temperatures were recorded. In addition, external surface temperatures were recorded at the 100°C inlet and 500°C inlet. External surface temperature was measured at the midpoint (6 inches along the 12-inch tube). Ambient temperature was 23°C.

Vacuum insulated tube dimensions:

  • Length: 12 in. (30.5 cm)
  • Outer diameter (OD): 3/8 in. (9.5 mm)
  • Inner diameter (ID): 1/4 in. (6.4 mm)
  • Overall wall thickness: 1/16 in. (1.6 mm)
High performance vacuum insulated tube 12 inches long, 0.25 inch ID, 0.38 inch OD. Insulon Technology
Insulon® vacuum insulated tube. 12 inches long, 0.250 inch ID, 0.375 inch OD. Overall wall thickness 0.0625 inch (1.6 mm).
Thermal cycling analysis of an Insulon vacuum insulated part

Thermal Cycling Analysis

Thermal cycling tests are conducted to measure the ability of Insulon® vacuum insulation to withstand cyclical temperature exposures. In this analysis, Insulon® vacuum insulation was exposed to 20,000 thermal cycles at 450°C. Consistent insulation performance demonstrates our ability to maintain the integrity of the vacuum space for many cycles. For this test, one heat cycle was defined as a 3-minute ramp up during which the component reaches steady-state, followed by a 2-minute cool-down period. Ambient temperature was 23°C.

Approximate dimensions:

  • Length: 30 mm
  • Outer diameter (OD): 15 mm
  • Inner diameter (ID): 13 mm
  • Overall wall thickness: 1 mm

Cryogenic Insulation Performance

Thin vacuum insulation surface temperature analysis conducted at steady-state using liquid nitrogen

Surface Temperature Analysis

Insulation performance can be demonstrated by measuring the temperature difference, or “Delta T,” across the inner and outer walls of a vacuum insulated tube. For this analysis, liquid nitrogen (-196°C) was transported through three 6-inch tubes: an Insulon® vacuum insulated tube, a double-walled air-insulated tube, and a single-walled non-insulated tube. The chart above details the external surface temperature of each tube at steady state. External surface temperatures were measured at the midpoint (3 inches along the 6-inch tubes). Ambient temperature was 23°C.

Vacuum insulated tube dimensions:

  • Length: 6 in. (152.4 mm)
  • Outer diameter (OD): 0.563 in. (14.3 mm)
  • Inner diameter (ID): 0.480 in. (12.2 mm)
  • Overall wall thickness: 0.042 in. (1.1 mm)
Thin vacuum insulated tube with Insulon Technology. 6 inches long, 0.56 inch OD, 0.50 inch ID
Insulon® vacuum insulated tube. 6 inches long, 0.50 inch ID, 0.56 inch OD. Overall wall thickness 0.042 inches (1.1 mm).
Steady-state external surface temperature analysis of an ultra thin vacuum insulated tube

Surface Temperature Analysis

Insulon® Technology is used to build ultra-thin vacuum insulation and is extremely well-suited to small bore pipe insulation. Insulon® can be manufactured for diameters as small as 24 gauge needles. For this analysis, liquid nitrogen (-196°C) was run through a 14 gauge Insulon® sheath with an overall wall thickness of less than 0.5mm. The graph above compares the external surface temperature of the sheath with the liquid nitrogen temperature at the inlet. External surface temperature was measured at the midpoint (3 inches along the 6-inch sheath). Ambient temperature was 23°C.

Vacuum insulated sheath dimensions:

  • Length: 6 in. (152.4 mm)
  • Diameter: 14 gauge
  • Overall wall thickness: < 0.5 mm
Small diameter vacuum insulated tubes are displayed next to a U.S. dime to demonstrate small size
Small diameter Insulon® vacuum insulated tubes displayed next to a U.S. dime
Vacuum insulated container liquid nitrogen boil off analysis compared to air-insulated container

Cryogenic Boil-Off Losses Analysis

Cryogenic systems that store or transport thermally-sensitive materials such as helium, hydrogen, argon, and liquid nitrogen can suffer expensive material losses due to evaporation. These evaporative losses are also known as boil-off losses. High-performance vacuum insulation can help to minimize boil-off for a more efficient system. For this analysis, liquid nitrogen (-196°C) was allowed to evaporate from a 2.5-inch Insulon® open-top canister and a non-insulated, single-walled, open-top canister. Boil-off rates were recorded for 3 minutes. Ambient temperature was 23°C.

Vacuum insulated canister dimensions:

  • Height: 2.5 in. (6.4 cm)
  • Outer diameter (OD): 1.03 in. (26.2 mm)
  • Inner diameter (ID): 0.92 in. (23.4 mm)
  • Overall wall thickness: 0.055 in. (1.4 mm)
Ultra thin vacuum insulated container 8 cm tall with 1.6 mm overall wall thickness. Insulon Technology
Vacuum insulated container with Insulon® Technology. 8 cm tall with 1.4 mm overall wall thickness.

When applications demand even higher performance,
managing radiation heat transfer is key.

Maximize Insulon® Performance with Multilayer Insulation (MLI)

MLI reduces radiation heat transfer for even higher thermal insulation performance

High temperature multilayer insulation installed inside the vacuum annulus of an Insulon vacuum insulated tube

The proprietary vacuum insulation found in every Insulon® part drastically reduces convective and conductive heat transfer, delivering high performance thermal insulation that is sufficient for many applications. If your application requires even higher performance insulation, you may need to reduce heat transfer due to radiation. Our engineers include high density, high temperature multilayer insulation (MLI) in our most advanced Insulon® parts to deliver even greater thermal results. Developed by our in-house engineering team, our proprietary MLI can pack up to 18 layers per inch and is effective in applications up to 1000°C. Installed directly inside the vacuum annulus, our MLI packages deliver increased insulation performance without any additional care or maintenance.

Custom Geometries

Our engineers customize various parameters to adjust insulation performance to suit the thermal requirements of your application. In addition to thermal performance, we design parts to withstand environmental factors that may affect your application including pressure, vibration, and structural loads. The majority of Insulon® parts are based on cylindrical geometries including tubes, pipes, cans, and flasks.