Datsyuk, V.; Trotsenko, S.; Peikert, K.; Höflich, K.; Wedel, N.; Allar, C.; Sick, T.; Deinhart, V.; Reich, S.; Krcmar, W.: Polystyrene nanofibers for nonwoven porous building insulation materials. Engineering Reports 1 (2019), p. e12037/1-15
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The building industry makes a great effort to reduce energy consumption. The use of nanotechnology is one of the approaches to surpassing the properties of conventional insulation materials. In this work, an industrial cost-effective method to manufacture highly porous materials with excellent thermal insulation properties is described. The materials are prepared from polystyrene recovered from the building sector and electrospun as nanofiber-based sheets. Varying electrospinning parameters allow controlling the morphology of the produced materials. Thematerials are obtained with differences in interfiber and inner-fiber porosity and morphology. The thermal conductivity of the freestanding and compressed materials is evaluated. Those differences affect the insulation performance: the materials with higher interfiber porosity show better thermal insulation in the freestanding state.An increase of the inner-fiber porosity leads to better insulation in the compressed samples. Insertion of carbon nanomaterials reduces the effects of the infrared Radiation. Nanofiber-based insulation materials from the recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) show thermal conductivity values of 20 to 25 mW/mK (ie, 20% to 30% below the thermal conductivity of the commercial EPS). The effect of integrating polystyrene nanofiber sheets into conventional wall-building materials is also investigated in terms of thermal insulation. The nanofiber insulation sheets are sandwiched between two pieces of the buildingmaterials resulting in a drastic increase of the insulation effect. The materials have a great potential in using, for example, as thermal insulation for the restoration of historic buildings in the narrow central parts of the old towns.