The World’s Thinnest Insulation
SNA (Tokyo) — The Panasonic Corporation has unveiled a new product which their developers describe as the world’s thinnest insulation. They call it the NASBIS high-performance thermal insulation sheet.
The key to this technology is a material called aerogel, which is a synthetic porous material derived from a gel, but in which the normal liquid component of the gel has been replaced with gas. This smokey white material feels nearly weightless in the palm of one’s hand.
Panasonic combines NASBIS with, for example, a special polyester fabric, to create wafer-thin sheets of insulation of remarkable effectiveness. This is because aerogel is also a material with the lowest known thermal conductivity.
The developers plan to pair NASBIS with one of Panasonic’s existing products, the Pyrolytic Graphic Sheet, or PGS.
As opposed to NASBIS, which insulates, PGS is a remarkable thermal conductor which serves to spread out and thus to dissipate heat. Used in combination, these materials can be used, for example, to eliminate “hot spots” on the back of mobile phones.
Panasonic invested three years of research time in developing NASBIS, and it expects to reach sales levels of about US$330 million by 2018. Most of its customers are expected to be international corporations.
Ordinary consumers are not likely to ever see NASBIS with their own eyes or even be aware of its existence, but if Panasonic’s developers have their way, the world’s thinnest insulation may soon become a component in their mobile phones or eco cars, adding an invisible comfort to their lives.
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