All about vacuum insulated piping (VIP) and vacuum technology

It’s all about Cryogenius.

In cryogenics, insulation is crucial. And while there are an enormous number and different insulation techniques available, Demaco uses vacuum or high-vacuum technology.

Why vacuum technology?

Within various industries, liquid gases are used for a variety of applications – as coolants, fuels and as part of scientific experiments. To maintain their liquid form, these gases must be stored, transported, and used at very low temperatures. This temperature varies from one gas to another. For example, oxygen requires a temperature of -183℃, while helium only liquefies at -267.9℃. When a gas heats up too much, it will dissipate in the form of boil-off gas (BOG).

Maintaining the perfect temperature of cryogenic liquids is an immense challenge. Before gas is ready for use, it must first be produced, stored, and transported. In most cases, this entails moving through storage areas (terminals), transfer lines, and transport vehicles, all of which must be designed to minimize heat affecting the gases throughout the entire process.

One method that proved very successful for blocking heat during this logistical process is vacuum technology. This method insulates 15 times more effective than other insulation materials (PIR/PUR, or Foamglas, Armaflex, Perlite, and Misselon); we can apply vacuum technology to the piping as well as terminals and stand-alone cryogenic products.

What is vacuum 

That vacuum technology uses vacuum is abundantly clear. But what exactly is vacuum? A vacuum is a space in which the amount of matter and therefore the pressure is significantly lower than the atmospheric pressure at sea level. Achieving a perfect vacuum (a space completely free of matter) is basically unachievable, but an environment with extremely low pressure can be created. We call this a high vacuum.

Creating a vacuum is a process of removing air, gases and other particles from an enclosed space. This can be done using different types of vacuum pumps, such as turbomolecular pumps or cryopumps, which work by trapping and expelling the molecules in the space.

What is vacuum technology, and how exactly does it work?

Vacuum technology is the use of vacuum or high-vacuum for optimum insulation of transfer lines or systems. A thin vacuum environment is created inside the pipe or system by constructing these with a double wall and extracting all the air between these walls with vacuum pumps. The result is a pressure difference between the vacuum environment with the outside air, which keeps a large part of the surrounding heat out of the system or the pipe.

Just exactly how does this work? Why does vacuum insulate so well, and what other techniques do we use in our vacuum insulated equipment?

Physical materials, and therefore liquid gases, are heated in three different ways:

  1. Through conduction: in essence, thermal conduction through direct contact. Where two objects come into contact, heat generally transfers directly from the hotter to the colder object. This also applies to liquid gases.
  2. By convection: This is heat created by the movement of molecules. The more vigorous molecules are in motion and impact each other, the more heat is produced.
  3. By radiation: radiant heat can include the radiation from the sun or any other object emitting heat.

Interested in one of our other vacuum components?

Expert in vacuum technologies

Demaco decided to focus on vacuum technology back in 1989; Demaco and the technology itself have experienced massive growth.

In 1989 the field of cryogenic engineering was still relatively new, which allowed Demaco to experience all developments within this cutting-edge field.

By cooperating with renowned technical universities, we have now gained endless experience and can genuinely call ourselves experts in the field of vacuum technology.

Want to know more about our high quality vacuum insulated piping? Then check out our product page, vacuum-insulated piping, for more information.

While many other forms of insulation are limited to radiation and conduction, vacuum technology counteracts all three forms of heat transfer. Moreover, by wrapping a vacuum space or pipe with a multi-layer combination of aluminium foil and glasspaper, heat leakage is almost completely blocked.




Please contact us for more vacuum technology information

Subscribe to Demaco