Patent application title: Insulated Window Shade
Martin J. Augustyniak (Elma, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47H2304FI
Class name: Pleating type with preformed pleats honeycomb type
Publication date: 2012-07-05
Patent application number: 20120168095
The present invention broadly relates to insulated window shades, and
more particularly to window shades of various designs which incorporate
an aerogel blanket.
1. An insulated window shade comprising: a shade cloth; and a flexible
blanket of aerogel material affixed to the shade cloth.
3. The insulated window shade as set forth in either claim 1 wherein the shade is pleated or folded to form either a pleated or a roman window shade.
3. The aerogel shade as set forth in claim 1 wherein the blanket of aerogel is sandwiched between interior and exterior shade cloths.
4. The insulated window shade as set forth in claim 3 wherein two pairs of interior and exterior shade cloths are provided and wherein two blankets of aerogel as sandwiched between the two pairs of interior and exterior shade cloths, the materials being pleated and secured to each other is a manner to form a cellular of honeycomb shade, which shade may be moved up to permit viewing outside of a window, and which may be moved down for better insulation.
5. The insulated window shade as set forth in claim 4 wherein the cellular or honeycomb shade is placed between two window panes.
6. The insulated window shade as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shade cloth and flexible blanket of aerogel material are formed into a plurality of slats which may be hung as a vertical blind.
7. The insulated window shade as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shade cloth and flexible blanket of aerogel material have a thermal resistance value of R3.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention broadly relates to insulated window shades, and more particularly to a window shade which incorporates an aerogel blanket.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 As consumer demand for energy efficiency increases, incorporating various insulating techniques into a building envelope becomes essential. One of the most inefficient products within a building envelope is the window. Many systems and methods have been developed to enhance the insulation value and thermal efficiency of the window. Double pane glass, argon gas and low E coating are the most common technological advances but despite these advances the window is still the weakest link of the building envelope.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,635,411 discloses an aerogel containing blanket, which has been sold under the trade name of NANOGEL, and which is now sold under the trade name of LUMIRA. This aerogel blanket has exceptional light transmission without sacrificing energy efficiency. In addition, it is flexible, lightweight, compressible, and its insulation qualities improve with compression. A suggested use of this material, and can be seen from the patent is for windows. However, the suggested use in windows is for permitting light to enter a room, but not for letting the occupants see out, as it has the appearance of frosted glass. As pointed out in the text of the '411 patent: "Thus, in at least one embodiment of the present invention, the present invention relates to double-glazed windows or structures with glass as the inner and outer layers and the air gap in between being replaced at least in part with the aerogel blanket or mat of the present invention." However there is nothing in the patent which suggests a design where the aerogel blanket can be folded, rolled, slid, or moved in some other manner to permit an occupant of a room with the insulated window to have a view outside.
 Skylights and glass panels are commercially available which are made with a loose fill of aerogel pellets. When produced, a vacuum is drawn in the space which receives the pellets to cause them to become closely packed. Examples of this type of commercial product are shown in U.S. 2010/0269426 and U.S. 2011/0120031.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention broadly comprises the addition of evenly distributed aerogel in a flexible blanket form, which material is currently sold by the Cabot Company under the trade name of LUMIRA, and which was formerly sold under the trade name of NANOGEL. The aerogel blanket is composed of aerogel pellets bound together with polyester fibers. This aerogel blanket will be combined with shade fabrics or materials which are preferably cellular cloth, or woven cloth (which may be a polyester), this cloth material in combination with the aerogel blanket forming an insulated shade having a high degree of translucency. The insulated window shade or blind can be internal or between the glass panels or as an external window treatment.
 The shade of this invention can be readily opened or closed without special mechanisms other than those normally found in a home environment. Advantages of the present invention are readily appreciable by the following prescription of embodiments of the invention and accompanying drawings and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The nature and mode of operation of the present invention will now be more fully described in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawing figures, in which:
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an aerogel blanket made by the Cabot Corporation in accordance with U.S. Pat. No. 7,635,411;
 FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the insulation shown in FIG. 1 and fabric which is secured to the insulation;
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a window shown in phantom lines, and a cellular insulated shade in the window, a portion of the window shade being broken away to show the insulation under the fabric; the mechanism for raising and lowering the shade not being illustrated;
 FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a pleated insulation shade, a portion being broken out to show the insulation aerogel material under the fabric;
 FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the window shade shown in FIG. 4, this view being taken generally along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4;
 FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a Roman insulated shade;
 FIG. 7 is a side view of an cellular insulated shade mounted within a window, there being double glazing to one side of the shade, and single glazing to the other side of the shade;
 FIG. 7A shows the shade of FIG. 7 in a partially raised position.
 FIG. 8 is an exploded view of a single slat of a vertical blind assembly, the slat including a strip of an aerogel blanket which is to be sandwiched between tow fabric strips;
 FIG. 9 is a view of a vertical blind assembly incorporating the slat shown in FIG. 8; and
 FIG. 10 is a section taken generally along the line 10-10 in FIG. 9.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 At the outset, it should be appreciated that like drawing numbers on different drawing views identify identical or functionally similar elements of the invention. While the present invention is described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred aspects, it is to be understood that the invention as claimed is not limited to the disclosed aspects.
 Furthermore, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the particular methodology, materials and modifications described and as such may, of course, vary. It is also understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention, which is limited only by the appended claims.
 All technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood to one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs, unless defined otherwise. Although any methods, devices or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the invention, the preferred methods, devices, and materials are now described.
 Referring now to the various figures, the embodiments of the insulated window shade, which is indicated generally at 10, comprises woven exterior and interior shade cloths 12 and 14, respectively, which cloths may be in a cellular form, and which are secured to an aerogel blanket 16 layer which is sandwiched between the internal and external shade cloths. The woven shade cloth and aerogel blanket may be secured to each other using any means known in the art, e.g., adhesives, mechanical fasteners or sewing. It should be appreciated various arrangements of the shade cloths 12 and 14 and the aerogel blanket 16 have been contemplated for the insulated window shades of this invention, for example as a cellular or honeycomb style of shade 10a as shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, as a roman shade 10b as shown in FIG. 6, as a mini blind or pleated shade 10c as shown in FIG. 4, as a vertical blind 10d as shown in FIGS. 8-10, as woven vertical grommet panel shade (not shown), as sliding panel shade (also not shown), and etc.
 As shown in FIG. 3, a cellular or honeycomb window shade may be mounted in a window frame 18. As is conventional, the window shade incorporates a mechanism (not shown) in a mechanism housing 20 for raising and lowering the shade 10a, and a ballast 22 at the bottom of the shade 10a. The conventional cords for raising and lowering the shade are not illustrated. A portion of the interior fabric is broken away to show the aerogel blanket which is sandwiched between the interior and exterior shade cloths.
 In FIG. 7 the cellular or honey comb shade is shown mounted in a window behind an exterior double glazing 24a and 24b and forward of interior glazing 26.
 In FIG. 9 a vertical blind assembly is illustrated. Such an assembly is formed by a plurality of slats 28 which are supported at their tops in a conventional manner. In accordance with this invention each of the slats is formed by an aerogel blanket which is sandwiched between interior and exterior shade cloths.
 Superior insulating capacity of the aerogel blanket 16 and the secure even distribution of the aerogel material within the polyester blanket allows the present invention to have enhanced and uniform thermal resistance properties. A thermal resistance value of R3 (hrftF/btu) is achieved with a aerogel blanket only 1/4 inch thick.
 In addition, the superior insulating capacity of the aerogel particle material and the secure even distribution of the aerogel material within the polyester blanket allows the present invention to have the enhanced ability to reduce solar gain. The present invention may have a varying thickness of aerogel blanket to increase thermal resistance, for example it may be 5/16 inch thick.
 When the aerogel blanket of the present invention is combined with woven cloth or woven polyester or other materials to make a cellular shade, a high degree of translucency is maintained. Aerogel blankets are 95% air and have a very high degree of translucency. In addition, aerogel particles have a complex nano-structure that significantly reduces the speed of a sound wave, creating superior sound absorption properties. The present invention has the ability to reduce the infiltration of outside noise and absorb internal noise.
 Aerogel is hydrophobic, the material will never absorb moisture and its insulation properties can never be reduced as a result to moisture. As a result the present invention has the enhanced ability to resist mold and mildew.
 Compressibility of aerogel allows the present invention to fold and unfold without an adverse effect on the insulating properties. Aerogel is the only material on the planet that insulates better than still air. Standard insulation materials such as fiberglass and mineral wool create a pocket of stagnant or still air, when these materials are compressed the air pocket is eliminated and the insulation resistance value is nullified. Conversely air is the weak link within an aerogel system, as air is squeezed out of the system by compression or folding of the present invention the aerogel particles are packed closer together increasing insulation resistance value. Unfolding the present invention returns the Aerogel particles to their original position maintaining the insulation resistance value.
 The present invention is lightweight at 0.1 lb/ft2 (1/4 inch insulation).
 The aerogel insulation within the present invention is permanent; there will be no change in the insulation properties as a result of unlimited folding and unfolding of the product.
 The present invention is manufactured by using a shade cloth material as a base scrim, building the aerogel blanket of bi-component polyester fibers, aerogel pellets, bonding agents on the base shade cloth, and completing with an upper shade cloth scrim to form an insulated shade composite blanket. The insulated shade material can then be formed into a cellular shade, roman shade or pleated shade by conventional manufacturing techniques.
 The present invention may be manufactured by the use of adhesive, mechanical fasteners or sewing to affix a produced aerogel blanket to specified shade material to form insulated shade material. The insulated shade material can them be formed into a cellular shade, roman shade, of pleated shade by conventional manufacturing techniques.
 Insulated shade material can be fastened or formed into mini-blinds and vertical blinds. It is seen that the objects of the present invention are efficiently obtained, although modifications and changes to the invention should be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art, which modifications are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed. It also is understood that the foregoing description is illustrative of the present invention and should not be considered as limiting. Therefore, other embodiments of the present invention are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
Patent applications by Martin J. Augustyniak, Elma, NY US
Patent applications in class Honeycomb type
Patent applications in all subclasses Honeycomb type