Cabot Corp.’s Enova thermal additive is designed specifically for coatings on surfaces that are not already insulated but ideally should be. This includes hard-to-reach and expansive areas of exposed metal where traditional insulation methods cannot be used due to limited access, size or shape.
According to the company, its researchers have found that applying a 1-mm coating containing the additive to a 200°C metal surface meets US and European testing protocols for safe-touch temperature, preventing first-degree burns typical within five seconds of skin contact. Coatings containing the additive also can be used to insulate cold surfaces, helping to eliminate freezer burns and reduce power needed to keep contents cold, the company says
The additive can be added during formulation or on site, and does not adversely affect the viscosity of the coating.
The additive is made up of aerogel, a solid particle consisting of more than 90% air trapped within a network of amorphous silica. The company claims it is twice as insulating as still air and, when used in water-borne formulations, can achieve a thermal conductivity of seven to 10 times more insulating than standard paint.