Title:
Method for manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel includes the steps of: providing at least one insulating core material with uneven surfaces, containing the insulating core materials within a bag with an opening, connecting the opening to a vacuum system, vacuumizing the sealed space of a bag to a desired vacuum degree, and sealing the opening of the bag to complete finished products of the vacuum-insulated panel. The surface of the insulating core materials are formed with grooves and the vacuum system only has to vacuumize the sealed space of bag. Therefore, the vacuumizing time can be reduced and production is simpler, more convenient and reliable.



Inventors:
Chang, Chan-hsiang (Hsin-Chu Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
10/083347
Publication Date:
08/28/2003
Filing Date:
02/27/2002
Assignee:
Industrial Technology Research Institute (Hsin-Chu Hsien, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65B31/06; E04B1/80; (IPC1-7): B65B31/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRUONG, THANH K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method for manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel, comprising: a. providing at least one insulating core material with uneven surfaces; b. containing the insulating core material within a bag with an opening; c. vacuumizing the bag through the opening of the bag; and d. sealing the opening of the bag.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the uneven surface of the insulating core material is formed by pressing a plurality of grooves on the insulating core material.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the grooves are formed V-shaped.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the insulating core material is provided with a plurality of open cells formed which has pores in the 10˜100 micron size range.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the insulating core material is selected from 100% polystyrene.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the insulating core material is provided with a plurality of cavities, and a plurality of getters within the cavities.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the opening of the bag sealed by heat sealing.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the manufacturing processes of the bag are stacking two films and sealing the three sides of the stacked films to form the bag.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the insulating core materials are stacked each other.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the insulating core materials with the uneven surface contact each other to form air passages.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a method for manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel, particularly a method that utilizes the grooves design to reduce vacuumizing time during the processes of manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A conventional vacuum-insulated panel (as shown in FIG. 1) generally consists of an insulating core material 1, getters 2 and a barrier film bag 3. The insulating core material 1 usually is selected from woods, sand soil, bricks and tiles, etc. However, the insulating core material 1 made from the above-mentioned materials has a relatively high thermal conduction coefficient and tends to incur thermal conduction. To lower the thermal conduction coefficient, the most commonly used approach is to increase the thickness of the insulating core material 1. Nowadays most producers utilize blowing materials to make the insulating core material 1. As the blowing materials have air bubbles, a vacuumizing process is required to suck the air out to make the air bubbles vacuum. The vacuum portion does not have thermal conduction and convection, thus can reduce thermal conduction coefficient and improve thermal insulation effect of the vacuum-insulated panel.

[0003] Referring to FIG. 2 for a conventional method that uses blowing materials to produce vacuum-insulated panel, the processes include: first, providing an insulating core material, getters and a barrier film bag, assembling the insulating core material, getters and the barrier film bag to become a semi-finished product, then placing the semi-finished product into a vacuum chamber for vacuumizing until the vacuum chamber reaching a desired vacuum degree. The semi-finished product will also reach the desired vacuum degree. Then heat seal the semi-finished product completely, and then release the vacuum in the vacuum chamber, and remove the sealed vacuum-insulated panel to complete the manufacturing processes.

[0004] The method set forth above require costly vacuum chamber. Moreover, the vacuum chamber has a large size and requires a lot of time to reach the desired vacuum degree. As a result, production yield is low and equipment costs are high.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The primary object of the invention is to provide a method that utilizes the grooves design on the insulating core material to reduce the vacuumizing time during manufacturing processes of vacuum-insulated panel.

[0006] Another object of the invention is to use heat sealing capability of a barrier film bag and a plastic tube to directly vacuumize the insulating core material without using vacuum chamber thereby make manufacturing process simpler, more convenient and reliable, and also reducing production costs.

[0007] To achieve the foregoing objects, the method of the invention includes the steps of: providing at least one of insulating core material and forming uneven surfaces thereon, stacking the insulating core material, placing the stacked insulating core materials in a bag, forming the bag in a pouch fashion with a sealed space except an opening for vacuumizing use, then connecting the opening to a vacuum system to vacuumize the sealed space, finally sealing the opening to complete the production of the vacuum-insulated panel. The insulating core material has grooves to function as air passages when the vacuum system proceeds vacuumizing to the sealed space. The vacuumizing time can be reduced and production is simplified, convenient and more reliable.

[0008] The foregoing, as well as additional objects, features and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a conventional vacuum-insulated panel.

[0010] FIG. 2 is a flowchart of conventional method for manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel.

[0011] FIG. 3 is a flowchart of manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel according to the invention.

[0012] FIGS. 4A through 4E are schematic views of manufacturing process steps of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0013] Referring to FIG. 3 is the flowchart of manufacturing a vacuum-insulated panel according to the invention. The method includes the steps of: providing at least one insulating core material with uneven surfaces 10, containing the insulating core material within a bag with an opening 11, vacuumizing the bag through the opening of the bag 12, and sealing the opening of the bag 13, finishing the vacuum-insulated panel 14. The details of the manufacturing processes are elaborated as following contents. The insulating core material is provided with a plurality of open cells formed which has pores in the 10˜100 micron size range, and may be porous blowing materials made from 100% polystyrene. The surfaces of the insulating core material may be formed with grooves by pressing to become uneven surfaces. Moreover, when the insulating core material is formed uneven surfaces, a plurality of cavities is formed on the insulating core material. And a plurality of getters is put on the cavities. Then the insulating core materials are stacked together. Then place the stacked and uneven insulating core material into a bag with an opening. Connect the opening of the bag to a vacuum system to vacuumize the sealed space of the bag. Finally, seal the opening of the bag to complete finished the vacuum-insulated panel.

[0014] Referring to FIGS. 4A through 4E for an embodiment of the method for manufacturing vacuum-insulated panel according to the invention.

[0015] Referring to FIG. 4A is providing a plurality of insulating core materials 20. The insulating core materials 20 may be porous blowing materials made from 100% polystyrene. Then the surface of the insulating core materials 20 formed V-shaped grooves to become uneven surfaces 21 by pressing, and also formed a plurality of cavities 22. The getters 40 place into the cavities 22.

[0016] Referring to FIG. 4B is stacking the insulating core materials 20. The insulating core materials 20 with the uneven surfaces face and contact each other to form air passages 35.

[0017] Referring to FIG. 4C is placing the stacked insulating core materials 20 inside a bag 30. The manufacturing processes of the bag 30 are stacking two barrier films and sealing the three sides of the stacked barrier films to form the bag 30. Then placing a plastic tube 33 at an opening 34 of the bag 30. The opening 34 of the bag 30 and the tubular wall of the plastic tube 33 can be sealed closely and tightly through heat sealing. The bag 30 forms an opening 34 and a sealed space 32. The heat sealing set forth above may be done by a heat sealing machine. In the event of the opening 34 of the bag 30 and the plastic tube 33 cannot be sealed tightly through heat sealing, hot melted adhesive may be used to seal the two.

[0018] Referring to FIG. 4D is connecting the opening 34 to a vacuum system 50 to communicate with and vacuumize the sealed space 32 until a desired vacuum degree is reached.

[0019] Referring to FIG. 4E is sealing the opening 34 by heat sealing method. Then the vacuum-insulated panel has finished.

[0020] When the vacuum system 50 vacuumizes the vacuum-insulated panel through the opening 34, the air passages 35 formed by coupling the pressed grooves on the insulating core materials 20 allow air to deplete quickly from the sealed space 32 to prevent the insulating core materials 20 from adhering to the bag 30. Through the manufacturing method of the invention, the vacuum system 50 vacuumizes only the sealed space 32. Comparing with conventional techniques that vacuumize the vacuum chamber, the invention can greatly reduce vacuum space and shorten vacuumizing time. And the vacuum chamber can be dispensed with to reduce production costs. In addition, in the manufacturing of the vacuum-insulated panel, the main processes involved are forming grooves and heat sealing, and the major equipment required is a simple vacuum system. Thus the whole process is simple, convenient and reliable.

[0021] While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been set forth for the purpose of disclosure, modifications of the disclosed embodiment of the invention as well as other embodiments thereof may occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to cover all embodiments which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.