Perlite for Cryogenic Insulation
Perlite is a moisture-containing volcanic rock found in large deposits throughout the world. When the rock is crushed and expanded with heat (a process similar to the popping of com) it makes excellent insulation for many cryogenic applications, Perlite has a low thermal conductivity and is inexpensive. It is not as hygroscopic as other siliceous powders and therefore is easier to prepare for vacuum conditions. In the past, evacuated perlite has been used extensively to insulate transport vessels for cryogenic fluids. Perlite is mined primarily in the western United States. There are large perlite deposits located near Rosita and Antonito, Colorado, and Socorro and Magdalena, New Mexico. The chemical composition of perlite will vary slightly, depending upon the location in which it is mined.
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