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Thermally insulating and fire-retardant lightweight anisotropic foams based on nanocellulose and graphene oxide
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK). Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0671-435X
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2015 (English)In: Nature Nanotechnology, ISSN 1748-3387, Vol. 10, no 3, 277-283 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

High-performance thermally insulating materials from renewable resources are needed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Traditional fossil-fuel-derived insulation materials such as expanded polystyrene and polyurethane have thermal conductivities that are too high for retrofitting or for building new, surface-efficient passive houses. Tailored materials such as aerogels and vacuum insulating panels are fragile and susceptible to perforation. Here, we show that freeze-casting suspensions of cellulose nanofibres, graphene oxide and sepiolite nanorods produces super-insulating, fire-retardant and strong anisotropic foams that perform better than traditional polymer-based insulating materials. The foams are ultralight, show excellent combustion resistance and exhibit a thermal conductivity of 15 mW m(-1) K-1, which is about half that of expanded polystyrene. At 30 degrees C and 85% relative humidity, the foams retained more than half of their initial strength. Our results show that nanoscale engineering is a promising strategy for producing foams with excellent properties using cellulose and other renewable nanosized fibrous materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 3, 277-283 p.
National Category
Materials Engineering Nano Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116614DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2014.248ISI: 000350799700021PubMedID: 25362476OAI: diva2:809098


Available from: 2015-04-30 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2015-04-30Bibliographically approved

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Salazar-Alvarez, GermanBergström, Lennart
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