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For more information on NanoPore™ Thermal Insulation:
Thermal Insulation Links:
• Vacuum Panels
• Applications
   • Insulated Shipping
   • High Temperature
   • Cryogenic
   • Pipes & Pipeline

Thermal Insulation Low K Dielectrics Adsorption Cooling

Insulated Shipping Containers

Insulated shipping containers are a perfect application for the use of improved thermal insulation. Insulated shipping containers may range from small foam boxes used for the delivery of drugs, food and chemicals to carryout containers for food to large intermodal shipping containers. Although the motivation for the use of improved insulation varies for each application, the advantages of using NanoPore VIPs in insulated shipping applications is summarized below:


  • Reduce overall shipping costs
  • Lower package cost for the same payload and delivery time.
  • Lower shipping costs for the same payload and delivery time via reduced volume/weight.
  • Reduce phase gelpac/dry ice and cardboard/outer box consumption.
  • Reuse/recycle.
  • Increase shipment times.
  • Increasing temperature control regulations .
  • Environmental restrictions on packaging materials (current and future).

Better insulation in shipping containers plays additional dividends because of geometric effects. For many smaller shipping containers, the majority of the volume is foam. Shipping costs are often based on volume rather than weight for these low density packages.

As an example, if one keeps the internal volume of the container constant, the outer dimension can be dramatically reduced. This reduces the heat loss/gain (which is proportional to the outside surface area) and hence, the amount of phase change material (dry ice, gel packs, etc.) may be reduced. This allows further shrinkage of the overall package size. Shown below is a package with a 100 mm cube internal dimension. If it has 50 mm thick expanded polystyrene, this may be reduced to 5 mm thick vacuum panels. Thus, the total volume is reduced by a factor of 6 and the volume of insulation is reduced by a factor of 21 as shown below.

If we assume that the package was 1/2 filled with phase change material (gel packs or dry ice), we would only need 1/3 as much phase change material because of the smaller heat transfer area. This yields a further reduction in the box size. For this example, the following advantages are realized by using vacuum panels:

  • Insulation volume reduced by a factor of 27 for the same payload and delivery time.
  • Package volume reduced by a factor of more than 8.
  • PCM requirements reduced by a factor of 3 for the same payload and delivery time.
  • Outer cardboard box area (if used) reduced by more than a factor of 4.

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