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OWENS-CORNING'S AURA VACUUM PANEL INSULATION DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED JUST 10 MONTHS AFTER INTRODUCTION

 TOLEDO, Ohio, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Owens-Corning researchers recently demonstrated that new AURA(TM) vacuum panel insulation can increase a refrigerator's interior volume by 25 percent while dramatically reducing energy usage, eliminating chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) from insulation, and maintaining the refrigerator's same exterior size or footprint.
 Introduced in October 1992, AURA insulation was originally tested at R-50 per inch and measured three-quarters of an inch. It instantly became the industry's technological leader, with more than twice the performance of silica powder vacuum panels and six to 10 times the performance of CFC-propelled urethane foams. Since that time, Owens- Corning has successfully pursued performance improvements that have increased AURA's R-per-inch as high as R-94.
 AURA insulation consists of a panel of thermally crafted fiberglass inside a stainless steel container. Fiberglass provides high insulating values and is the primary structural component. To further increase the insulating capability, the steel/glass composite is evacuated and hermetically sealed.
 Owens-Corning's initial research on fiberglass insulation in vacuum panes stems from the U.S. Department of Energy mandate that refrigerator/freezer manufacturers reduce the total energy consumption of their units by 25 percent by 1993, with possible additional reductions of 25 to 50 percent by 1998. AURA insulation's dramatic improvements in thermal performance has already enabled applications that far exceed vacuum insulation's promise as a way to meet the 1998 Level 5 energy standards.
 Increased Space and Efficiency in Standard Sized Home Refrigerators
 Use of AURA insulation in a prototype refrigerator has demonstrated that the vacuum panel can add 25 percent more interior space in the same exterior footprint by permitting the design of thinner walls. For a standard 18 cubic foot refrigerator, this equates to an extra 4 cubic feet of usable interior space. Depending on how a designer takes advantage of that space, this could mean the additional storage of 16 gallons of milk or 36 six-packs in the refrigerator, or two 22-lb. turkeys in the freezer with outside dimensions of the refrigerator remaining unchanged.
 AURA vacuum panel insulation accomplished this dramatic increase in interior space while reducing energy usage by 40 percent over the improved 1993 standards, while eliminating CFCs from the insulation.
 In addition to its energy saving properties, AURA insulation's stainless steel jacket allows high-temperature applications and longevity. High-temperature applications, up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, have been successfully demonstrated by Owens-Corning scientists in ovens, ranges and water heaters. Hot storage tanks and pipelines and advanced car batteries are also currently being investigated. Poly-jacketed vacuum panels have not proven effective in hot applications because the heat accelerates the vacuum loss, significantly eroding the thermal performance.
 The stainless steel jacket was also chosen for its longevity vs. the poly-jacketed panels. Vacuum containers using stainless steel are still being used after 30 years of service. Owens-Corning chose this proven technology over poly jackets because the company currently is focusing on products with short life spans, such as refrigerators and ovens. Owens-Corning is pursuing poly jackets for shorter-life products.
 New Aerospace Applications
 The high R value of AURA superinsulation has sparked NASA's interest for use in the Space Shuttle and other applications. NASA, in conjunction with Owens-Corning, is developing a prototype thermoelectric refrigeration system to replace the unreliable freon refrigeration system used aboard previous space flights.
 Other applications currently being explored for AURA include photovoltaic (solar) refrigerators, adsorption-cycle refrigerators, high-performance coolers for medical and food storage, and refrigerated truck, ship and rail transport.
 Owens-Corning has entered into a strategic alliance with Minnesota Valley Engineering (MVE), the world's largest independent cryogenic container manufacturers. MVE brings welding and vacuum reliability to AURA vacuum stainless steel insulation, which the company has demonstrated for over 30 years.
 Owens-Corning expects commercialization of AURA vacuum panel insulation by the 1994 time frame.
 -0- 8/24/93
 /CONTACT: Elizabeth Sudheimer of Owens-Corning, 419-248-6190/
 (OCF)


CO: Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation ST: Ohio IN: SU: PDT

MP-TS -- NY055 -- 5528 08/24/93 15:11 EDT
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Date:Aug 24, 1993
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