06487866 is referenced by 12 patents.
A multi-purpose thermal insulation test apparatus is used for testing insulation materials, or other components. The test apparatus is a fluid boil-off calorimeter system for calibrated measurement of the apparent thermal conductivity (k-value) of a specimen material at a fixed vacuum level. The apparatus includes an inner vessel for receiving a fluid with a normal boiling point below ambient temperature, such as liquid nitrogen, enclosed within a vacuum chamber. A cold mass assembly, including the inner vessel and thermal guards, is suspended from the top of the vacuum chamber. Handling tools attach to the cold mass assembly for convenient manipulation of the assembly and for the installation or wrapping of insulation test materials. Liquid nitrogen is typically supplied to the inner vessel using a fill tube with funnel. A single port through the top of the vacuum chamber facilitates both filling and venting. Aerogel composite stacks with reflective films are fastened to the top and the bottom of the inner vessel as thermal guards. The comparative k-value of the insulation material is determined by measuring the boil-off flow rate of gas, the temperature differential across the insulation thickness, and the dimensions (length and diameters) of the test specimen.