High heat losses in buildings are a particular issue in Lithuania today. Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and reducing heating bills can be achieved by increasing the thermal resistance of walls. Foam products are commonly used for insulation, which react to weathering during use, resulting in a deterioration of the foam properties over time. This is why top manufacturers such as BASF and Ineos Nova are using the latest advances in nanoscience to develop new technologies for the production of thermal insulation materials. In this project, researchers at the LEI Open Access Centre (LEI APC) will carry out R&D activities on nano-coatings and nanoparticles to improve the performance of foams. The project involved the application of SiO2 nanocrystalline coatings that will protect the foam from moisture ingress and improve flame resistance. TiO2 coatings with antibacterial properties have also been applied, making the foam suitable for the refrigeration industry, medical and food packaging applications. The properties of the resulting coatings were investigated using modern surface analysis techniques installed at the LEI APC: SEM+EDS, XPS, XRD, AES. The project foresaw the synthesis of SiO2 and TiO2 nanoparticles and the study of how these nanoparticles change the performance of the resulting products. The work was to investigate an innovative technological route involving the coating of a starting material with a continuous nanocrystalline coating, followed by the ‘blowing’ of the material and the splitting of the nano-coating in order to form uniformly distributed nanoparticles on the surface, which improve the performance of the foam. The project has led to the preparation and submission of 2 patent applications, 5 ISI publications, mock-ups of SiO2 and TiO2 coated foams, and samples of SiO2 and TiO2 nanofibres. The results of the projects are aimed at attracting Lithuanian and foreign investors interested in the production and application of improved foams, primarily in the renovation of buildings in Lithuania.
Project ID: VP1-3.1-ŠMM-10-V-02-019
Total value of the project: 150 140,51 EUR
Coordinator: Lithuanian Energy Institute