Specifier Review
Nanotechnology Based Thermal Barrier Coatings

Nanotechnology Based Thermal Barrier Coatings

Changing the way the UK and the world insulates

With the GREEN DEAL deal cashback scheme being shut, Landlords & Developers have a solution to the most cost-effective Energy-Saving solution for buildings.

Insulation for energy efficiency has stepped into the 21st century with vast improvements over last century technology.

When the largest airport in the world at the time was built in Bangkok, Thailand, the developers wanted to use the most innovative sustainable technology in their design so they turned to nanotechnology based thermal barrier coatings to provide a clear insulation that protected their aluminum air-bridge panels from corrosion and condensation. The coatings insulated in a thin, clear layer with a much longer lifespan that traditional fibrous insulation, while also fitting in beautifully with the design aesthetics. Since the initial installation in 2005, that coating is still keeping the Suvarnabhumi International Airport energy efficient.

Recognized in the UK

Nanotechnology based thermal barrier coatings, known and marketed as Nansulate®, have been used globally since their first introduction in 2004, and are just now gaining recognition in the UK, which is a bit behind other countries in adoption of this cutting edge technology, although recognizing its potential years ago. In 2007, Nansulate®, a patented line of thermal barrier coatings, were mentioned in a report titled, “Environmentally Beneficial Nanotechnologies: Barriers and Opportunities” by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Under this study, five nanotechnological applications were subject to detailed investigation, and nanotechnology was found to have the ability to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 2% in the near term and up to 20% by 2050.

Nanotechnology and Energy Savings

Nanotechnology is simply the manipulation of materials at a smaller scale than was previously possible. By manipulating matter at the nanoscale, materials have the ability to be built from the atomic level up with much less waste. Materials can take on different attributes when you manipulate them at this scale, such as silver taking on anti-microbial properties or the ability to insulate in a much thinner layer.

Nansulate® thermal barrier coating technology incorporates a safe micro-sized nanotechnology based material with nano-sized internal architecture that has a very low thermal conductivity. Additionally the material is hydrophobic, which provides mold and mildew resistant without the use of toxic moldicides. This material is delivered in a specially formulated, clear, low VOC, water-based coating that has excellent adhesion and UV resistance.

Reduction of thermal transmission as tested to ISO 8990:1999 “Standard Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Performance of Building Assemblies” over 8cm cement wall sections with plaster on both sides, was 34.8% at a standard 3-coat coverage, which is approximately 6-7 mils dry film thickness, and typical energy savings reported by home and building users is between 20%-40%.

Distributed by Nanotech Coatings SW Ltd

Nanotech Coatings SW Ltd is a distributor of the nanotechnology based thermal insulation product Nansulate® which sets out to prevent mold caused by condensation.

“With flooding experienced and a regular hazard of winter in the UK lots needs to be done to help protect the homes directly affected but also those nearby who will be experiencing higher than usual levels of condensation in their homes. There is a significant demand in the UK for this product, given the current situation” says Rob McCutcheon Managing Director of Nanotech Coatings SW Ltd.

Substantial mould problems have developed in recent times after homes were subjected to flooding over the winter months. Walls and floors took weeks to dry out, but mould began to surface within 24 hours.

Rob continues; “Nansulate is acknowledged as the most “advanced thermal and insulation technology highly needed in the UK. We’re really excited about our investment in Nanotech Coatings UK Group, enabling us to provide our high profile clients (which include the likes of the NHS health authorities, educational establishments, international infrastructure partnerships and major UK house builders) with this 21st century most advanced insulation solution. Energy sources and prices are an ongoing concern for the UK government, so to be able to offer a sustainable solution for our clients could make a huge difference to all budgets.”

Presenting most efficient thermal insulating properties, with the application of Nansulate®, houses are also kept cool during current warm climate, and homeowners can use this time to prepare their houses for insulation during the winter months.

Mould and Condensation Challenges

Toxic black mould can cause permanent damage to your health. In extreme cases toxic black mold has even lead to death. Because of the serious health effects toxic black mold can cause, if you find it in your home you need to take steps to get it removed immediately. The longer you are around toxic black mold, the more it will damage your health.

Nanotech Coatings aims to offer a cost effective solution which within a few coats can help prevent some of the damage caused by condensation and mould and lead towards a healthier home.

Combining Versatility with Performance

The most difficult types of buildings to insulate are older ones. Many of these include solid block wall construction that make it difficult to insulate with traditional materials. Additionally, last century’s fibrous insulations are very susceptible to infiltration by moisture, dirt, and other contaminants which degrade their performance over time. By using a liquid insulating technology that is applied like a paint, longevity is increased significantly as well as consistency of performance. Nansulate® coatings typically last between 5-10 years in exterior applications, and beyond ten years in protected interior environments. The coating line is made to perform in all types of harsh environments from offshore oil platforms, assets & equipment exposed to high temperatures (and buildings in the desert of Saudi Arabia), to frozen climates in Alaska.

Application is also very cost effective and does not require expensive equipment. The coatings are applied like a paint, with a standard sprayer, brush or roller, onto walls, ceilings, roofs, or attics. The application is much like painting the wall, only it’s done with a clear insulation.

Case Studies

There is more than 5 ½ years of performance and test results from live Case Studies, which include the likes of IMSS – Mexico’s Government Health and Social Security Administration – used the Nanocoating in 2009 on the roof of their data center in Monterrey. This location houses the data servers which hold their electronic patient records, and these servers were shutting down due to overheating in the summer. After applying the coating and comparing year over year temperature measurements, they confirmed reduction of the interior temperature by 27% and their issue with server shut-down was resolved.

After more than eleven months of test trials, Network Rail also issued a Certificate of Approval for Nansulate to be used in the bridges and tunnels for insulation and the prevention of icicle build-up, which is a huge problem faced during winter months, posing a huge threat to safety on the railway tracks.

Homeowners benefit greatly from the ease of use and energy savings, with one Canvey Island resident writing, “Prior to painting, our heating costs were quite high compared to what they are now. In fact, since applying the Nansulate I have been able to lower the thermostat from 5.5/6 to 3, basically halving the temperature.”

The future of insulation and energy efficiency is with new technology. Just as computers and cell phone have become thinner and more efficient, so has our insulation technology. Thermal barrier coatings are the way of the future as the planet moves toward more sustainable and effective technologies that are affordable. For more information, and to initiate test trial projects and applications, contact:

Rob McCutcheon at Nanotech Coatings SW Limited

Landline – 01726 812233
Mobile    – 07970 211528