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Vacuum insulation panels: Prerequisites

Vacuum insulation panels are generally made of a load-bearing, open-pored and therefore evacuable core, sealed into a sufficiently gas-tight envelope (cf. Assembly). They therefore have the following characteristics:

Predetermined sizes: Vacuum insulation panels cannot be cut to size or drilled through. Where possible, VIPs should be selected in uniform or standardized sizes. Manufacturing customized VIPs is more costly and time-consuming.
Sensitive envelope: To maintain the vacuum within the panel, the envelope must not be damaged. VIPs therefore have to be produced and installed with particular care and caution, especially VIPs with foil envelopes. VIPs should be protected when being installed to prevent unintentional damage.
Thermal bridges: Since vacuum insulation panels have an extremely small thermal conductivity, even calm, non-convecting air in the gaps between the VIPs causes thermal bridging. Even more pronounced bridging effects result from the presence of any material (particularly metal) between the VIPs (for instance mounting aids). Facade systems involving vacuum insulation panels therefore have to be very carefully planned in order not to compromise the excellent insulating performance of VIPs through thermal bridges (cf. Edge effects).

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