Close up of product innovation
This refrigeration breakthrough will deliver benefits ranging from increased capacity and quieter performance to the potential for increased sustainability and design flexibility.
SlimTech™ insulation will launch in 2024 on select JennAir® 30 in. Column refrigerators and will later expand to KitchenAid brand

Today, Whirlpool Corporation introduced SlimTech™ insulation, the first vacuum insulated structure (VIS) technology in a refrigerator in the North American market. This technology represents a significant step forward in refrigeration technology, which has long relied on bulky polyurethane foam for insulation.

By using a proprietary material that is vacuum-sealed within the door or sides of the refrigerator itself, SlimTech™ insulation can reduce the wall thickness by up to 66% – allowing for up to 25% more capacity inside the refrigerator.

“For the past 112 years, we have shaped the landscape of modern home appliances in the kitchen and the laundry room, developing products that have improved life at home for millions of consumers from the introduction of the first electric wringer washer and first home dishwasher,” said Marc Bitzer, Whirlpool Corporation chairman and CEO. “SlimTech™ insulation is yet another turning point for the industry, and this launch is just the beginning of how we will utilize this technology.”

SlimTech™ insulation is yet another turning point for the industry, and this launch is just the beginning of how we will utilize this technology.”

SlimTech™ insulation technology will make its debut in 2024 on the doors of select JennAir® luxury 30 in. Slimtech™ Insulation Column refrigerators, and will roll out more broadly across KitchenAid refrigerators in the future, utilizing the technology for the entire structure.

The material used in SlimTech™ insulation technology also has the potential to be recycled, and Whirlpool Corp. is working to map out a path to reclaiming the material at a refrigerator’s end of use, paving the way for a more circular future.

“For years low recyclability due to polyurethane foam has created a significant barrier to making refrigerators more sustainable and reducing environmental impact,” said Pamela Klyn, Whirlpool Corporation executive vice president of corporate relations & sustainability. “This is an extremely important leap forward on the journey to a more circular approach to home appliances. Implementation of SlimTech™ insulation marks the beginning of the end for foam insulated refrigerators.”

Beyond adding refrigerator capacity and increasing the potential for sustainability, SlimTech™ insulation technology also unlocks additional consumer benefits.

  • Increasing the thickness of SlimTech™ insulation walls can reduce thermal conductivity, allowing a refrigerator to be up to 50% more energy efficient.
  • SlimTech™ can keep food fresh for longer by reducing temperature swings from door openings by cooling up to 30% faster.
  • SlimTech™ insulation technology will enable more interior customization via metal interiors with cleaner angles that eliminate the need for the molded plastic interiors common in today’s refrigerators.
  • Fewer compressor cycles are needed to maintain cool temperatures, meaning SlimTech™ refrigerators deliver even quieter refrigeration.

With SlimTech™ insulation technology Whirlpool Corp. aims to revolutionize how consumers think about refrigeration in their homes by allowing for more discreet refrigeration spaces that could be seamlessly brought to other rooms of the house or be contained within other pieces of furniture.

“Slimtech™ insulation technology – along with other recent product launches – shows our commitment to innovation and will allow us to expand our market share and our margins,” said Bitzer. “This is a step change in technology and process innovation that will cascade across the Whirlpool Corporation brand portfolio and manufacturing operations.

Refrigerators with SlimTech™ insulation will be built at Whirlpool Corp.’s operations in Ottawa, Ohio. The company has invested $65 million in the plant.