Spaceloft (aerogel) insulated VS30

COVAN-19

New member
So in my COVID lockdown time, I lost my mind and decided to insulate my new build (2019 170 4x4 2500) with an aerogel product (Spaceloft) as my contribution to the cannon of sprinter conversions. The remainder of the build was fairly standard stuff so I'll stick to describing the insulation.

Why, you ask? Well I planned on using wool batting for my insulation (because of its thermal and sound-deadening properties), and I noticed that with 2" wool batting there was about 1/2" of airspace left over in most of the bays in the vehicle. Spaceloft comes in a 10mm (0.39") thickness which provides an extra R value of 4-ish to the wool's R7 and perfectly fits in this extra airspace.

Aerogels are mostly air by volume and come from space-shuttle technology, and Spaceloft is essentially an aerogel-impregnated fiberglass mat. It's hydrophobic but vapor-permeable and useful for energy-efficient home building. Plus with the COVID lockdown, I had the time, and I certainly needed it because this is a *very* time-consuming process. I also used Lizard Skin ceramic insulation and Hushmat over nearly the entire van, including underneath the front seats, which was another significant time-suck. This level of insulation is probably overkill/diminishing returns, but hey, I was bored and aiming for the quietest, most insulated van I could possibly achieve. Would I do it again? At gunpoint, maybe...

So the walls, ceiling, and doors are like this:

1) Lizard Skin (both SC and IC)
2) Hushmat sound deadening mat
3) 10mm Tyvek-wrapped Spaceloft
4) 2" Havelock wool insulation
5) paneling

Some idiosyncrasies of Spaceloft:

-Fairly easy to work with, except it's very dusty and therefore needs to be wrapped in something. I chose Tyvek because it is vapor-permeable, cheap, and also easy to work with.
-Time consuming: each bay required measuring and cutting the Spaceloft and Tyvek, wrapping the Spaceloft into a Tyvek sandwich with DAP Weldwood upholstery glue (or alternatively taped into a sandwich with Tyvek tape) using a pneumatic paint sprayer, and gluing the sandwich to the inside of each bay.
-Expensive. The Spaceloft alone for a 170 WB sprinter will set you back about $3000.

Various photos attached. Discuss!
 

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woebkeja

New member
Cool! I've used Spaceloft in the past in my non-van related professional career (engineering/product development). It's always in the back of my mind as a good insulation material and I've always thought about applying it to other projects/products.

I can attest to the difficulty in working with the material. When we used it we created "panels" by essentially vacuum packing the material in reflective Mylar. Reflective Mylar helps with the radiative emissivity and the vacuum packing helps enhance the spaceloft's core insulative properties - limit the ability for air molecules to transfer heat...

cool project.
 
... ...

So the walls, ceiling, and doors are like this:

1) Lizard Skin (both SC and IC)
2) Hushmat sound deadening mat
3) 10mm Tyvek-wrapped Spaceloft
4) 2" Havelock wool insulation
5) paneling

Some idiosyncrasies of Spaceloft:

-Fairly easy to work with, except it's very dusty and therefore needs to be wrapped in something. I chose Tyvek because it is vapor-permeable, cheap, and also easy to work with.
-Time consuming: each bay required measuring and cutting the Spaceloft and Tyvek, wrapping the Spaceloft into a Tyvek sandwich with DAP Weldwood upholstery glue (or alternatively taped into a sandwich with Tyvek tape) using a pneumatic paint sprayer, and gluing the sandwich to the inside of each bay.
-Expensive. The Spaceloft alone for a 170 WB sprinter will set you back about $3000.

Various photos attached. Discuss!
Where did you order the "10mm Tyvek-wrapped Spaceloft"? Were you not able to order it as Tyvek-wrapped so that you had to wrap it yourself?
Walk in His Peace,
Scribe With A Stylus
 

COVAN-19

New member
Where did you order the "10mm Tyvek-wrapped Spaceloft"? Were you not able to order it as Tyvek-wrapped so that you had to wrap it yourself?
Walk in His Peace,
Scribe With A Stylus
I had to wrap the spaceloft in Tyvek myself, which honestly was the most time-consuming part. I wrapped each piece and glued the Tyvek on with DAP Weldwood upholstery glue using a pneumatic sprayer. Definitely not the easiest process but I got a rhythm down eventually and could whip out 10-20 pieces in an hour.
 
Oops, I emphasized the wrapping part of my question too much. The first part of my question was where you purchase or ordered it. This would allow me to buy some if I need it.

Would you please indicate the seller you located and their website and URL for where to order it - or their phone number or both?

Do they sell any other thicknesses or is the 10 mm the best?

Thank you,
Scribe With A Stylus
 

COVAN-19

New member
Oops, I emphasized the wrapping part of my question too much. The first part of my question was where you purchase or ordered it. This would allow me to buy some if I need it.

Would you please indicate the seller you located and their website and URL for where to order it - or their phone number or both?

Do they sell any other thicknesses or is the 10 mm the best?

Thank you,
Scribe With A Stylus
I purchased it from Airtight Distribution: https://www.airtightdistribution.com/

10mm is the thickest Spaceloft product, but you can sandwich several layers together (as I did in the slider door).
 

Jwc11

New member
@COVAN-19 very cool, thanks for sharing! I randomly had the thought of insulating my new van with this stuff and was happy to discover this thread. Have you done a scan with a thermal imager? It would be interesting to see some sort of analysis of thermal performance now that the cold weather has arrived. Also curious about the impact on acoustics
 

COVAN-19

New member
@COVAN-19 very cool, thanks for sharing! I randomly had the thought of insulating my new van with this stuff and was happy to discover this thread. Have you done a scan with a thermal imager? It would be interesting to see some sort of analysis of thermal performance now that the cold weather has arrived. Also curious about the impact on acoustics
I actually thought about using a thermal imager, but haven't yet. I do have access to one so when I do that, I'll post images and video for you. I can also compare panels with and without the Spaceloft because I plan on removing the roof rails and LineX-ing the roof in white for heat rejection and waterproofing. I'm pretty satisfied with my gestalt feeling thus far as it's very quiet and warm inside (I slept in it yesterday). I can't speak specifically to the acoustics because I have nothing to compare it to really. Obviously after all of the attention paid to insulation, the van is considerably quieter than the factory van. The wool batting and butyl mats probably provide most of the soundproofing. Here's a photo from today at the beach:

IMG_5035.JPG
 

COVAN-19

New member
I did everything except for the actual sewing machine work. I paid a local upholsterer do the diamond stitch, then I applied the fabric (Sileather) and foam to the panels myself. The underlying kit is the Adventure Wagon kit. I still have some furniture and cabinets to put in, and a bit of electrical work. Going on 10 months of work on this thing and I'm just now getting to the fun parts.
 

Jwc11

New member
I actually thought about using a thermal imager, but haven't yet. I do have access to one so when I do that, I'll post images and video for you. I can also compare panels with and without the Spaceloft because I plan on removing the roof rails and LineX-ing the roof in white for heat rejection and waterproofing. I'm pretty satisfied with my gestalt feeling thus far as it's very quiet and warm inside (I slept in it yesterday). I can't speak specifically to the acoustics because I have nothing to compare it to really. Obviously after all of the attention paid to insulation, the van is considerably quieter than the factory van. The wool batting and butyl mats probably provide most of the soundproofing. Here's a photo from today at the beach:
Wow, great work with the fabric additions to the kit panels - looks like a really clean, modular design! I don't want to derail this thread about Spaceloft insulation with other questions about your build, but I hope to read more about your build progress. And looking forward to seeing the results of your thermal scans. I'd be surprised if there are any better insulated vans out there that aren't used for commercial refrigeration.
 

COVAN-19

New member
Wow, great work with the fabric additions to the kit panels - looks like a really clean, modular design! I don't want to derail this thread about Spaceloft insulation with other questions about your build, but I hope to read more about your build progress. And looking forward to seeing the results of your thermal scans. I'd be surprised if there are any better insulated vans out there that aren't used for commercial refrigeration.
Thanks, I should probably post more about the build as I’ve done some really good stuff. The whole design was based around simplicity and modularity. L-track everywhere including the floors for modular seating. Right now I’m working on the electrical system which will mostly be hidden in the walls and under the floor...also 2 battery banks, one lithium and one AGM along with a second alternator. I’ll probably start another thread about the build soon.
 

creaturecomforts

New member
Thanks, I should probably post more about the build as I’ve done some really good stuff. The whole design was based around simplicity and modularity. L-track everywhere including the floors for modular seating. Right now I’m working on the electrical system which will mostly be hidden in the walls and under the floor...also 2 battery banks, one lithium and one AGM along with a second alternator. I’ll probably start another thread about the build soon.
Looks amazing. Where’d you source the sileather from? And how much did you end up using?
 

COVAN-19

New member
I got the Sileather straight from the company US representative. I bought an entire roll and ended up using about 3/4 of it.
 

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