By Andrew W. KellyThe best way to get a good acoustic insulation is to buy a good box, says Matt Jagger, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied how to make insulation for space.
“The best insulation for a box is a good-quality material that can be used in space.
You can’t go to a hardware store and buy a box with bad insulation, he said.”
For example, Jagger has developed a thermal paste that works like a foam, or a kind of “thermoplastic” that has a soft, air-filled interior that’s soft enough to be a good insulation material for the box.”
There’s a lot we can learn from the science.”
For example, Jagger has developed a thermal paste that works like a foam, or a kind of “thermoplastic” that has a soft, air-filled interior that’s soft enough to be a good insulation material for the box.
The material is an all-weather type of foam that can absorb heat and hold it in place.
It’s more than 1,000 times stiffer than traditional materials, and has properties similar to wood or leather, and is less prone to cracking and tearing than synthetic materials.
“I’ve developed a way to make a thermal pad that is a soft foam that holds a lot more heat and it’s also very lightweight,” Jaggs said.
The material is now in commercial use in buildings in places like Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
It also can be made for space and is in use in some commercial buildings in Japan.
Jagger has also been studying the use and applications of thermal insulators in space for about 20 years.
He said the materials have potential for both protecting buildings and making them more resilient to extreme environments like the space environment.
“The way I see it, the best way is for people to do a research project, find out what works, what doesn’t, and then go from there,” he said, adding that it would be helpful to have a set of research questions that can inform decisions made by the aerospace industry.
Jaggs says he is currently working on a new thermal paste material that will make it possible to use thermal paste in the form of a box that is more durable than traditional foam insulation.
“This could make thermal insulation the next-generation thermal pad for space,” he says.