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Photo of a Typical Cryogenic "cold box" with Cryogenic Storage Tanks

Typical Nonevacuated Cryogenic and Low Temperature Perlite Insulation Specifications

Photo of Cryogenic Perlite Installed in Typical Non-Evacuated Storage Tanks

Main Index > Markets > Industrial Applications > Nonevacuated cryogenic and Low Temperature Service

Perlite for Nonevacuated Cryogenic and Low Temperature


Because of its unique properties, perlite insulation has found wide acceptance in the insulating of cryogenic and low temperature storage tanks, in shipping containers, cold boxes, test chambers, and in food processing.

Storage temperatures of -150 F (-100 C) and below are considered cryogenic. Storage temperatures of -150 F (-100 C) and above to 40 F (4 C) are considered low temperature. Super cold or extremely cold cryogenic fluids such as hydrogen and helium are normally stored in spherical, double walled vessels with evacuated annual spaces using evacuated perlite.


Perlite insulation suitable for nonevacuated cryogenic or low temperature use exhibits low thermal conductivity throughout a range of densities, however, the normal recommended density range is 3 to 4.5 lbs/ft3 (48 to 72 kg/m3). In addition to its excellent thermal properties, perlite insulation is relatively low in cost, easy to handle and install, and does not shrink, sell, warp, or slump. Perlite is noncombustible, meets fire regulations, and can lower insurance rates. Because it is an inorganic material, it is rot and vermin proof. As a result of its closed cell structure, the material does not retain moisture.


There are many different design concepts for low temperature and cryogenic storage vessels. However, most are of double wall construction with the annulus filled with expanded perlite. Packaged or bulk perlite (pneumatic bulk trucks) may be used to insulate smaller vessels by pouring or blowing the insulation in place. Portable perlite expansion plants often are used to insulate very large storage tanks, cold boxes, ships, and other double wall vessels and pipes. In these applications perlite ore is expanded on-site and the expanded perlite insulation is conveyed pneumatically into the annulus.

Information given herein is from sources considered reliable, but no guarantee of accuracy can be made or liability assumed.  Your supplier may be able to provide you with more precise data.  Certain compositions or processes involving perlite may be the subject of patents.
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