Aerogel

Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a solid with extremely low density and thermal conductivity. It is nicknamed frozen smoke, solid smoke, solid air or blue smoke owing to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material; however, it feels like expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) to the touch.

Aerogel was first created by Samuel Stephens Kistler in 1931, as a result of a bet with Charles Learned over who could replace the liquid in "jellies" with gas without causing shrinkage.

Aerogels are produced by extracting the liquid component of a gel through supercritical drying. This allows the liquid to be slowly dryed off without causing the solid matrix in the gel to collapse from capillary action, as would happen with conventional evaporation. The first aerogels were produced from silica gels. Kistler's later work involved aerogels based on alumina, chromia and tin dioxide. Carbon aerogels were first developed in the late 1980s.

Read more about AerogelProperties, Applications, Production, Safety

Other articles related to "aerogel, aerogels":

Aerogels - Applications
... Aerogels are used for a variety of applications In granular form to add insulation to skylights ... of Technology's 2007 Solar Decathlon House project used an aerogel as an insulator in the semi-transparent roof ... Transparent silica aerogel would be very suitable as a thermal insulation material for windows, significantly limiting thermal losses of buildings ...
Aerogels - Materials - Carbon
... Carbon aerogels are composed of particles with sizes in the nanometer range, covalently bonded together ... impregnated with resorcinol–formaldehyde aerogel, and pyrolyzed ... Depending on the density, carbon aerogels may be electrically conductive, making composite aerogel paper useful for electrodes in capacitors or deionization electrodes ...
Aerogels - Properties
... Despite their name, aerogels are solid, rigid, and dry materials that do not resemble a gel in their physical properties the name comes from the fact that they are ... Pressing softly on an aerogel typically does not leave even a minor mark pressing more firmly will leave a permanent depression ... Aerogels are good thermal insulators because they almost nullify two of the three methods of heat transfer (convection, conduction, and radiation) ...
Aerogels - Production
... Production of aerogels is done by the sol-gel process ... in solution and then the liquid is carefully removed to leave the aerogel intact ... Silica aerogel is made by the creation of colloidal silica ...
Aerogel - Safety
... Aerogel safety depends on the material from which it's made, so an aerogel will have the same carcinogenic and toxic characteristics as the solid component from ... Silica-based aerogels are not known to be carcinogenic or toxic ... gloves and eye goggles be worn whenever handling aerogels ...