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Thermally insulating and fire-retardant lightweight anisotropic foams based on nanocellulose and graphene oxide
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center. Stockholm University, Sweden .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0671-435X
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2015 (English)In: Nature Nanotechnology, ISSN 1748-3387, E-ISSN 1748-3395, 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
Nano Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-163969DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2014.248ISI: 000350799700021PubMedID: 25362476Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84924752564OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-163969DiVA: diva2:810567
Funder
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , RMA11-0065Swedish Research Council
Note

QC 20150507

Available from: 2015-05-07 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Salazar-Alvarez, GermanBergström, Lennart

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