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Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. micropage7


    Mar 26, 2010
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    Jakarta, Indonesia
    A 2.5 kg brick is supported by a piece of aerogel with a mass of only 2 grams

    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 drawn 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

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2016
    remixedcat says thanks.
  2. remixedcat


    May 13, 2010
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    heard of those about a decade ago and those are awesome!!!!
  3. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

    Oct 13, 2008
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    IA, USA
    Yeah, it's been around for a while now. They use it for heat shielding in situations where low mass is critical. If memory serves, it is so effective because it has billions of microscopic air pockets.
    Crunching for Team TPU

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