|Boston, Mass. and Manchester, N.H. -
(September 19, 2002) - Finally, after years of research and testing, a process
that allows a less costly, large-scale manufacture of aerogel materials has
been developed by Cabot Corporation (NYSE:CBT).
lightest solid material--has been used for many years by the science and space
communities in applications where there are extreme demands for thermal
insulation, light transmission, sound and shock absorption. Although highly
valued for its insulation and light transmission properties, aerogel's high
cost and limited availability restricted its use to specialized areas such as
the space shuttle and Mars 2000 Pathfinder Mission.
Cabot today launched
Nanogel, the world's first commercial translucent silica aerogel product
designed for the daylighting market. In its first application of the new
Nanogel product, Cabot is working with Kalwall® Corporation, the leading
manufacturer of translucent skylight, wall panel and window systems, to
incorporate the translucent insulation into its panels.
Translucent is the brand name for the nanoporous thermal insulation material
manufactured exclusively by Cabot through a patented process. Nanogel
Translucent is an extremely lightweight and versatile material that delivers
thermal insulating and light transmitting factors two to four times better than
other products currently on the market, while acting as a diffuser to
distribute the light uniformly. Nanogel is also a more effective sound
insulator compared to glass fiber materials used today in skylights and
translucent wall elements. It is permanently hydrophobic and therefore is
moisture and mildew resistant.
The Kalwall+ Nanogel panels are made with 2-3/4"
(70mm) composite grid frames that are covered on both sides with high
performance fiberglass reinforced faces to form a structural
Kalwall is producing the specialty translucent panels that will
incorporate the Nanogel insulation inside. A leader in the architectural
industry for nearly 50 years, Kalwall was the first to develop completely
effective UV resistant systems, and the first to invent curved
daylight-insulating panels. Kalwall translucent systems have been featured in
numerous award-winning buildings worldwide.
"Nanogel's unique properties
allow greater flexibility in building design," said Robert Keller, founder of
Kalwall. "The high thermal, and acoustic insulation features of the material,
combined with its ability to diffuse light and improve the aesthetics of a
building, have been unattainable using traditional insulating materials. "U"
values of .05 (R-20) are now possible along with a wide range of "museum
quality" lighting levels. We believe that Kalwall with Nanogel is ideally
positioned to become an industry standard for use in a variety of building
applications," Keller said.
Kalwall will install the first Nanogel
filled panels in a swimming pool enclosure in Manchester N.H. This project is
scheduled for completion in November 2002.
"We're delighted to partner
with Kalwall for this project," said Dr. David Kaul, General Manager of Cabot's
Nanogel business unit. "Their expertise is in producing architectural panels
for every type of space where museum-quality natural daylighting is desired.
With increased environmental regulations and a growing market for materials
that help conserve energy, we're receiving positive reactions to the value of
Nanogel from architects, builders and building owners in many segments of the
construction industry," Kaul said.
"In addition studies have long proven
that people working in natural daylight environments are more productive,
happier, and healthier. We believe that Nanogel's unique combination of
properties for high light transmission, thermal insulation, moisture and sound
resistance make it an ideal daylighting material for any geographic location,"
Nanogel State-of-the-Art Technology
Cabot is the
first to develop a viable process for the commercial manufacture of aerogels
using its expertise in modifying the surface chemistry of particles to achieve
desired performance. Nanogel Translucent is produced using a continuous aerogel
manufacturing process by first forming a hydrogel from sodium silicate and then
surface modifying it to make it hydrophobic, and finally, drying the gel
through an ambient pressure drying process.
Cabot will begin supplying
Nanogel from its new, state-of-the-art aerogel manufacturing facility in
Frankfurt, Germany in October 2002. Translucent insulation for architectural
walls designed for the daylighting market is the first market. Other
applications, such as spray-on insulation for automobiles, as well as thermal
and acoustical insulation for a variety of applications are currently being
About Cabot Corporation
Cabot Corporation is a
global specialty chemicals and materials company, headquartered in Boston,
Mass. Cabot's major products are carbon black, fumed silica, inkjet colorants,
and tantalum capacitor materials. Cabot is a leader in the production of
nanostructured, sub-micron particles, comprising carbon, metals and metal
oxides. These particles enhance the performance of a variety of products,
including rubber reinforcement, rheology control in adhesives, pigmentation in
inks, polishing and capacitance for microelectronics uses, and UV protection
and electrostatic dissipation in plastics. See
Kalwall Corporation is the leader in the field of
translucent building panel systems, having invented the translucent, structural
building panel. Based in Manchester, N.H., Kalwall is recognized worldwide for
highly insulating, translucent panel technology.
|Robert R. Keller, founder, Keller Companies, Inc. and Kalwall
Corporation, Manchester, New Hampshire
|Robert R. Keller inspecting the installation of the world's
first Nanogel® Skylight