Energy & Sustainability Client Feature — AeroShield Materials
This month we are excited to feature AeroShield Materials, a manufacturer of super-insulating materials to decarbonize the world’s built environment. Last month AeroShield Materials announced the closing of its Seed funding of $4 million. Key investors include the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, MassVentures, and other sustainability-focused investors. AeroShield will use the funding to expand its manufacturing capabilities, grow its team, and accelerate product development and partnerships to bring the first AeroShield-insulated window products to market.
AeroShield’s breakthrough was developing the world’s most transparent silica aerogel sheets. Silica aerogels are some of the most insulating materials ever created, and AeroShield can be added as a coating to the inner glass of windows and doors to improve energy performance by up to 65%, saving homeowners money and helping save the planet.
Building operations represent 27% of global CO2 emissions, and today’s windows are a major contributor to the lack of energy efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, heat gains and losses through windows are responsible for up to 30% of a homeowner’s heating and cooling bills.
While consumers today have the option to install more efficient triple pane windows, US adoption is less than 5% due to high costs, concerns over weight and thickness, and fewer options for frames and aesthetics. Just 3mm of AeroShield’s material inside a window enables triple pane or better performance at double pane thickness and weight, reducing the cost of high-performance windows while still allowing consumers to choose from existing frames and styles.
“Decarbonizing the built environment is a critical priority, not just for our net zero goals here in Massachusetts but globally,” said John Gorman, Senior Investment Associate at theMassachusetts Clean Energy Center. ‘We believe AeroShield’s solution represents a step-change in energy efficiency for what has historically been the weakest part of the building envelope: windows. As rising energy costs continue to drive home, we must accelerate the next generation of energy efficiency technologies, and we believe AeroShield is well-positioned to lead the way.”
AeroShield’s patented material can be bonded to glass and improves the energy efficiency of a wide range of insulated glass products. While R&D is currently focused on residential windows and doors, the material also has applications in commercial windows, grocery store freezer doors, ovens, electric vehicle windows, and solar thermal energy.
“There is a growing recognition that the built environment, and windows, in particular, need to get better to enable cities and companies to meet net-zero goals,” said AeroShield CEO Dr. Elise Strobach. “We have spoken to hundreds of manufacturers, builders, and owners and have developed a solution that can overcome the barriers to adoption that triple panes and other window technologies present. Our mission is to make the world’s buildings more sustainable, and we are excited to help home and building owners reduce CO2 emissions by gigatons while saving billions in heating and cooling costs.”
The culmination of six years of research at MIT by Dr. Strobach, AeroShield was founded to commercialize the world’s most transparent silica aerogels. Silica aerogels are comprised of more than 95% air trapped inside nanopores, making them one of the lightest and most insulating solids ever created. While they have been used at institutions like NASA for decades, they have always been tinted blue. AeroShield’s patented material has the transparency of glass, far surpassing prior works and enabling new high-value use cases for the material.
AeroShield is currently producing 14’’ x 20’’ prototypes and has conducted extensive testing at National Labs to prove the performance and durability of the material. Funding will be used to build out a larger demonstration manufacturing facility; expand their team, including roles in engineering, chemistry, and product development; and work with partners to install the first products in a demonstration project.