Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Voc-free, Highly Flame-resistant HybridSil® Insulation Coatings for Next-Generation Thermal Insulation and Energy Efficiency

EPA Contract Number: EPD13046
Title: Voc-free, Highly Flame-resistant HybridSil® Insulation Coatings for Next-Generation Thermal Insulation and Energy Efficiency
Investigators: Baranauskas, Vince
Small Business: NanoSonic Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: July 29, 2013 through July 28, 2015
Project Amount: $300,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2013) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Green Buildings


NanoSonic's HybridSil® insulative coatings provide a paradigm-breaking alternative to spray-deposited polyurethane foams by affording comparable insulation, yet without any of the health and safety concerns associated with diisocyanate derived foams. NanoSonic designed and optimized its next-generation, green­certified HybridSil® insulative foam to provide drastically enhanced fire resistance, thermal resilience, environmental durability, and rapid spray depositability with no free isocyanates. NanoSonic's HybridSil® foams gracefully convert to flexible silicates with negligible smoke toxicity to insulate underlying substrates and prevent flame spread, unlike current SPFs that provide solid fuel to a structural fire while emitting highly toxic smoke. In fact, compared to current state-of-the-art SPFs, NanoSonic's HybridSil® foams provide a 1,250 percent improvement in time to ignition and a 4,165 percent improvement in dimensional integrity durability under a 50 kW/m2 heat flux.

Equally important, independent extended emission analysis completed by Materials Analytical Services (MAS) has proven NanoSonic’s optimized HybridSil® insulative foams are compliant with the performance standard established for low-emitting insulation/sealants under the CDPH Standard Method Version 1.1, which provides the benchmark criteria adopted in green building programs such as Green Globes, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools. To achieve this, HybridSil® employs environmentally and health friendly reagents instead of airborne diisocyanates that lead to numerous deleterious health consequences, including chronic respiratory disease, chronic bronchitis, asthma, skin allergies and irritation. R-value determination indicates that optimized systems have thermal conductivities comparable to current state-of-the-art open cell polyurethane foams (3 to 4) while still providing the aforementioned performance advantages at a competitive cost of $0.50 to $0.70/ft2.

The principal objective of the proposed Phase II SBIR program is to create a Phase III transition bridge into residential and commercial insulation applications through elevated R value performance (4-7) and larger scale performance validation, including full room insulation, spraying and fire-testing qualification. In that vein, NanoSonic will work with the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, Southwest Research Institute, and MAS to provide full-scale testing demonstrations that will provide a catalyst for near term commercial transition. Further, NanoSonic will work with its local government officials in Giles County, VA, to insulate a number of government buildings with HybridSil® insulative foam in an endeavor that is both an extension of the technical effort and an invaluable marketing opportunity.

Supplemental Keywords:

air sealing, energy efficiency, flame resistance, green buildings, indoor air pollution, insulation coatings, thermal insulation, polyurethane foam, VOC-free insulation coating, SBIR, polyurethane-spray foam coating

SBIR Phase I:

VOC-free, Highly Flame Resistant HybridSil™ Insulation Coatings for Next Generation Thermal Insulation and Energy Efficiency  | Final Report