Synergistic effect of fibres on the physical, mechanical, and microstructural properties of aerogel-based thermal insulating renders

Marco Pedroso, I Flores-Colen, J D Silvestre, M Glória Gomes, A Hawreen, Richard Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

There is an increasing demand for highly efficient thermal insulating materials in buildings. This study presents a novel solution incorporating nanomaterials, such as silica aerogel, which can achieve low thermal conductivity values (below 0.030 W m-1 K-1) in renders. A key challenge of using aerogels is their low mechanical strength and high capillary water absorption. Here we describe a novel approach employing fibres which mitigates against some key properties which are decreased as a consequence of using aerogel. The incorporation of aramid (0.50%), sisal (0.10%), and biomass (0.10%) fibres (by total volume) was evaluated experimentally in terms of physical, mechanical, and microstructural properties. A synergistic effect between the fibres and aerogel increased mechanical resistance and a reduction in the capillary water absorption, when compared to the reference render (without fibres), whilst maintaining the low thermal conductivity. However, these properties depended significantly on whether the fibres were synthetic or organic. This study is important as it demonstrates that aerogel-based fibre-enhanced thermal renders can contribute to higher energy efficiency in both new construction and retrofitting. The use of these materials will have a direct positive impact on addressing the climate crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105045
Number of pages24
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Volume139
Early online date23 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023

Bibliographical note

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of FCT - Fundaç ̃ao para a Ciˆencia e Tecnologia for funding CERIS Research Unit (UIDB/04625/2020), Instituto Superior T ́ecnico, Universidade de Lisboa, and of the University of Bath for the DVS tests and the granted internship. The first author also wants to thank FCT for PhD grant SFRH/BD/132239/2017

Data will be made available on request

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge Saint-Gobain Weber Portugal for making available the aerogel-based TR used in this study. The authors also acknowledge IBB – IST Prof Laura Ilharco and Prof Ana Rosa for the technical support on the BET and DRIFT tests. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia for funding CERIS Research Unit ( UIDB/04625/2020 ), Instituto Superior Técnico , Universidade de Lisboa, and of the University of Bath for the DVS tests and the granted internship. The first author also wants to thank FCT for PhD grant SFRH/BD/132239/2017 .

Keywords

  • Energy-efficient buildings
  • Fibres
  • Nanomaterials
  • Performance
  • Silica aerogel
  • Thermal render

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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