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Vacuum insulated panel

A Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP) uses the insulative effects of a vacuum to produce much higher insulative values than conventional insulation. Conventional insulation produces an R-value of eight or less per inch (fiberglass being towards the lower end and foam panels towards the higher end). VIPs are commonly as high as R-30 per inch, and have achieved commercially viable levels of R-50 per inch.

VIPs consist of: membrane walls, used to prevent air from getting into the vacuum area; a core material, used to hold the vacuum inside the membrane while preventing the membrane walls from collapsing; and chemicals to collect gases leaked through the membrane or offgassed from the membrane materials. The near-vacuum in the vacuum area greatly reduces conduction and convection of heat. This is similar to the way that a Dewar flask works, but without the reflective metal coatings.

While offering very high insulation values for a given thickness, VIPs have always had major issues with cost and lifespan. VIPs may have fabulous r-value/inch ratios, but they have very poor r-value/cost ratios.

Lifespan has also been a major issue due to the fact that the panels cannot be made completely airtight, thus air slowly fills the vacuum inside the panel, severely degrading the R-value.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vacuum_insulated_panel". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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