Silica aerogel-poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) composite for transparent heat retention films

Jenna M. Allan, Md Abdul Mumin, Jeffery A. Wood, William Z. Xu, Wei Wu, Paul A. Charpentier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) (EVA) plastic films are widely used for solar coverings including photovoltaic modules and commercial greenhouse films, but are poor at controlling heat flow. In this work, silica aerogel (SA) nanogels were examined for preparing transparent heat retention EVA films that block far infrared spectra radiation to maintain heat, without compromising the optical performance of the films. SA nanogels were melt-mixed using a mini twin-screw extruder with EVA pellets to form SA/EVA composite, which were pressed into thin films with controlled thickness. The composite films were characterized in terms of optical properties using a variety of analytical methods including FTIR, UV-Vis spectroscopy, electron, confocal, and atomic force microscopy. Both thermicity and thermal conductivity of commercial and experimental SA/EVA films were measured. The results demonstrated that the SA/EVA films gave improved infrared retention compared to commercial thermal plastic films without compromising visible light transmission, showing the potential for this approach in next generation heat retention films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-935
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of polymer science. Part B: Polymer physics
Volume52
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • blends
  • composites
  • films
  • poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate)
  • silica aerogel
  • thermal conductivity
  • thermicity

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