Painting the interior or the exterior of a house can be quite an arduous task, but few realize that adding a fresh splash of color to the walls and siding of their homes can lead to reduced energy consumption and substantial savings on utility bills. Hy-Tech Thermal Solutions, LLC, of Melbourne, Florida, is producing a very complex blend of ceramic vacuum-filled refractory products designed to minimize the path of hot air transfer through ceilings, walls, and roofs. The insulating ceramic technology blocks the transfer of heat outward when applied to paint on interior walls and ceilings, and prevents the transfer of heat inward when used to paint exterior walls and roofs, effectively providing year-round comfort in the home.
As a manufacturer
and marketer of thermal solutions for residential,
commercial, and industrial applications, Hy-Tech
Solutions attributes its success to the high
performance insulating ceramic microsphere
originally developed from NASA thermal research
at Ames Research Center. Shaped like a hollow
ball so small that it looks as if it is a single
grain of flour to the naked eye (slightly thicker
than a human hair), the microsphere is noncombustible
and fairly chemical-resistant, and has a wall
thickness about 1/10 of the sphere diameter,
a compressive strength of about 4,000 pounds
per square inch, and a softening point of about
Thermal Solutions improved upon these properties
by removing all of the gas inside and creating
a vacuum. In effect, a mini thermos bottle is produced, acting as a barrier to heat by reflecting it away from the protected
surface. When these microspheres are combined
with other materials, they enhance the thermal
resistance of those materials.
the tiny ceramic beads have the appearance of a fine talcum powder. Their inert, nontoxic properties
allow them to mix easily into any type of paint,
coating, adhesive, masonry, or drywall finish.
Additionally, their roundness causes them to
behave like ball bearings, rolling upon each
other, and letting the coatings flow smoothly.
When applied like paint to a wall or roof,
the microsphere coating shrinks down tight
and creates a dense film of the vacuum cells.
The resulting ceramic layer improves fire resistance,
protects from ultraviolet rays, repels insects
such as termites, and shields from the destructive
forces of nature.
Thermal Solutions proximity
to Kennedy Space Center provides the company
with the latest advances in the fields of energy,
chemistry, and environmental study. Its president,
Al Abruzzese, worked for Lockheed Corporation
at the Cape Canaveral Air Station in the late
1960s and early 1970s, as a missile team supervisor
on nuclear submarines. This position kept Abruzzese
in close contact with the activities at Kennedy.
Years later, Abruzzeses work as a painting contractor also kept him apprised of the Centers operations. It was during this time that he was exposed to new technologies
such as specialized heat-resistant and corrosion-prevention
For example, the insulating properties of Space Shuttle tiles immediately came to mind and sparked Abruzzeses interest. He and a coworker asked themselves if it would be possible to incorporate the heat-resistant properties of the ceramic tiles into a commercially available paint product, and thus reduce the thermal transfer of treated surfaces. The challenge was many-sided, but Abruzzese discovered that NASA resources, including the use of NASA and university laboratories, were readily available to permit him to conduct extensive research. He soon began to realize the viability of his idea, and pushed forward to overcome the obstacle of finding just the right combination of materials that would provide adequate coverage, would not be too heavy or delicate, could be sprayed, and would not have an adverse reaction with the paint itself.
By fusing NASA research with his own efforts, Abruzzese selected a variety of ceramics from around the world to intermix and create the Hy-Tech Insulating Ceramic Additive he now markets. The Hy-Tech Insulating Ceramic technology is available as a stand-alone product that can be mixed into store-bought paints, or as a pre-mixed application in a complete line of factory-blended interior, exterior, waterproofing, and roof coatings. All products are tested under the harsh conditions of Floridas east coastal region, notorious for its mildew, sulfide gas staining, and hurricane-driven rains.
Hy-Tech Thermal Solution paints and coatings can be used to coat steam pipes and fittings, metal buildings (rust prevention), cold storage facilities (walk-in coolers and freezers), delivery trucks, buses, mobile and modular homes, and RVs and campers. Exterior coatings of the ceramic additive have been applied to trailers housing electronics at Federal aviation locations. The coatings reduce temperature, and thereby lessen the load on the air-conditioning systems inside the trailers. They also provide waterproof surfaces that cut down on moisture in the trailers, keeping the electronic components better protected from the environment. Similar coatings are utilized by the U.S. Forestry Service to insulate and coat underground cables and irrigation systems. These applications are especially effective in preventing rodents and other pests from gnawing through the cables and damaging the underground systems, ultimately averting costly repairs.
Abruzzese encourages homeowners to utilize ceramic-reinforced coatings on their roofing systems to significantly decrease heat inside the attic and home. According to him, This simple measure can reduce air-conditioning costs significantly. If every home in the United States became just 10 percent more efficient, savings in utility costs would reach into the trillions. He also points out that the Hy-Tech Insulating Ceramics extend the life of a paint coating, and make the painted surface more durable.
As NASA engineers work to improve the Space Shuttle tiles, Abruzzese is watching closely to see how new advancements in this area can continue to influence his own field of work.