BINS1 experiments

The first Bubble INSulation (BINS1) experiment aims at investigating the possibility to immobilize water by using superabsorbers. Chemically speaking these are sodiumpolyacrylates. These materials are used in many applications such as in nappies and hygiene articles but also in agriculture or as artificial snow. The interesting property is that they absorb water something between 100 and 1000 times their own weight. That's why they are also called waterlocks or superabsorbers.

Our first experiment is focussing on understanding the temperature resistance and the general behaviour of this material. A small amount is dissolved in water and then boiled for several hours.

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Dry Superabsorber

Superabsorber in boiling water

To be useful in a BILS, the material should remain flexible while still being sufficiently stable. It seems that by selecting a proper concentration this can be achievd with these materials, 

Immobilized water after cooking for many hours.

To qualify as insulation material, it should not only resist heat and remain flexible. It should also be rather robust in general. The test sample in the video was therefore left untouched for some weeks, water dried out and only the granulate was left.  

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Superabsorber after drying out again. 
Added only some dust from our office...

To be continued