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FIBER GLASS INSULATION CONCEPT PROMISES HIGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR APPLIANCES

 FIBER GLASS INSULATION CONCEPT PROMISES HIGH
 ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR APPLIANCES
 NEW YORK, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A new fiber glass insulation concept that promises to increase dramatically the energy efficiency of refrigerator/freezers and other appliances and equipment has been developed by Owens-Corning.
 The developmental insulation -- a vacuum panel of thermally crafted fiber glass inside a steel foil container -- provides an R value per inch of 50 in tests at Owens-Corning's Technical Center in Granville, Ohio. "That's more than six times the R value of urethane foam insulations used in today's refrigerator/freezers," according to Dr. Warrren W. Wolf, Director of Owens-Corning's Construction Products R&D and Material Services Laboratory in Granville.
 Refrigeration is generally regarded as the home's largest user of electric energy. Estimates are that refrigerator/freezers consume approximately eight per cent of all electric power generated in the United States, Dr. Wolf noted.
 Owens-Corning's research on the new product stems from a Department of Energy mandate that refrigerator/freezer manufacturers reduce the total energy consumption of their units 25 per cent by 1993. DOE may require an additional reduction of 25 to 50 per cent by 1998.
 CFC Issue is Critical
 Also, the U.S. government is requiring refrigerator/freezer manufacturers to build units free of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) by the end of 1995. CFC's, commonly used as the foaming agent in refrigerator/freezer insulation and as the refrigerant, are accused of thinning the earth's protective ozone layer.
 Compared to silica powder and silica aerojel vacuum insulations -- two other CFC-free products under study as foa replacements -- the new fiber glass product provides at least double the insulating power or R value, according to ?Owens-Corning tests.
 "The potential for this fiber glass vacuum insulation is very exciting," said Dr. Wolf. "In addition to its superior energy-saving properties, the new vacuum insulation panel offers high-temperature resistance, possibly as high as 1000 deg. F," noted Dr. Wolf.
 Other Possible Applications
 Ovens, water heaters and advanced car batteries are among the high- temperature applications being investigated by Owens-Corning scientists, according to Dr. Wolf. He said aerospace applications, hot and cold storage tanks and pipelines, cryogenic applications, high-performance coolers for medical and food storage and refrigerated trucks, ships and rail transport are also possibilities for the new insulation panel concept.
 "Fiber glass is an ideal insulation material for an evacuated panel," Dr. Wolf said. "The glass fiber structure has been especially engineered to provide maximum thermal resistance under large compressive loads. It is an excellent radiative and conductive blocker and does not contaminate the vacuum." He added that the steel/fiber glass panel is "completely recyclable and, of course, there is no CFC problem."
 Admiral Company Tests
 Dr. Wolf said Owens-Corning's energy-saving findings are supported by insulation evaluations conducted by Admiral Co., Division of Maytag Corporation, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
 The results of these tests were presented by Admiral at the 1992 International CFC and Halon Alternatives Conference Sept. 30, 1992 in Washington, D.C. They showed the new Owens-Corning insulation provides energy performance superior by 50 percent to that of other developmental insulations installed in 19 cu.ft top freezer refrigerators. All insulations in this test were used in co-insulation structures with CFC- 11 blown polyurethane foam insulation, the current industry standard.
 The Admiral tests showed energy consumption dropped on an average of 15 per cent when Owens-Corning vacuum insulation was installed in the cabinet and doors of test units.
 Wide Range of Design Options
 "Because of its superb insulating properties, this concept offers appliance designers a wide range of options," Dr. Wolf said. "They could, for example, design cabinets having wall thicknesses similar to today's units but with much greater energy efficiency. Or they could possibly use even thinner walls, permitting more interior space and additional shelving," Dr. Wolf said.
 Published reports indicate that other insulations being investigated as replacements for CFC-containing foams could result in bulkier, more expensive refrigerator/freezers than those on the market now.
 Dr. Wolf said the new fiber glass vacuum insulation is currently undergoing cost-effectiveness studies to determine the extent of its commercial feasibility. If these studies prove successful, the refrigerator/freezer market alone, both residential and commercial, represents a potential of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of fiber glass insulation, according to Dr. Wolf.
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Noonan of Burson-Marsteller, 212-614-4450, for Owens-Corning/
 (OCF) CO: Owens-Corning ST: Ohio IN: SU:


KD -- NY096 -- 3068 10/21/92 16:02 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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