After several years of
research, the inclusion of vacuum insulation panels (VIP) in the field of heat
insulated packaging has found its path. The use of VIP for this application has
advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantages of
Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP)
VIP is vacuum based insulation known for its high thermal
conductivity. It is ideal for the transport of heat sensitive products in
extreme conditions (prolonged periods, intense heat, etc.). VIP advantages:
- Performance: Its thermal conductivity of
about 5 mW/m.K makes VIP more efficient than other insulating materials, even
if performances are reduced by thermal bridges.
- Temperature maintenance time: It offers
7 to 10 days of storage within the required temperature range. This duration is
2 to 3 times more than what can be achieved using the best classic insulation.
VIP caters for needs in excess of 5 days, which are not guaranteed by other
- Thickness: The use of VIP can reduce the
thickness of the sides, and therefore the volume of the box, or the weight of
the cold source used.
The disadvantages of VIP cold chain packaging
Vacuum Insulation Panel, when used in heat insulated or refrigerant
packaging, can have some weaknesses. VIP disadvantages:
- Fragility: VIP is usually protected by
another material which is often classic insulation (PU, PSE, etc.), this
increases the total thickness and results in another disadvantage.
- Cost: Despite efforts to lower its cost,
VIP remains expensive.
- Shape: The panel shape is not perfectly
square, this complicates box assembly and creates thermal bridges.
- Weight: It has a density of 150 to 250
kg/m3, making it heavier than other insulation materials.
Despite these facts, VIP remains a privileged material to secure the
cold chain when shipping pharmaceutical products, for example.
use VIP heat insulated packing? (previous article)