Aerogels are open-porous nanostructured solid materials and are known to be the lightest and best solid thermal insulators in the world.
Aerogels are open-porous nanostructured solid materials and are known to be the lightest and best solid thermal insulators in the world. The combination of their ultra-lightweight and superinsulating properties is due to their fine polymeric network exhibiting high porosity and consisting of mostly mesopores. These pores are ranging from 2 to 50 nanometers in diameter and are essential to obtain thermal conductivities lower than that of air (air = 26 mW/m-K)! Aerogels are therefore superior compared to the popular phenolic resin foams and polyurethanes. Furthermore, silica aerogels demonstrate a very good fire resistance in contrast to polyurethanes, which decompose in carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen cyanide and other toxic products on combustion.
Although aerogels have been around for almost a century, their use is still rather limited as they are too expensive for most applications, especially for the construction sector. Aerobel decided to change this once and for all without compromising in quality via a vertically integrated production process.
This was accomplished by starting from a cheap silica source (mostly waste products) which is converted into precursor material to produce a gel. The obtained wet gels were then simultaneously hydrophobized and converted into aerogels without noticeable shrinkage in volume. Each step within the process has been optimized such that the amount of raw materials and solvent got drastically reduced while excess or waste is continuously recovered and reused.
As a result, a well-engineered and sustainable production process was developed to obtain cost-effective silica aerogels with an extremely uniform pore structure and an overall porosity higher than 90%. Due to their very low densities (typically 0.08-0.12 g cm-3), implementing aerogel particles automatically results in lighter building composites which are easier to handle and result in less emissions during transport. Furthermore, all our aerogels are made hydrophobic to protect the pore structure and thus its quality when in contact with moisture.
Due to its extreme insulating properties of our aerogels, only a thin layer of aerogel can result in a significant reduction in thermal conductivity, hydrophobicity and corrosion prevention. Aerogels can therefore be applied in endless applications including aeronautics, aerospace, construction, coating, automotive, medical, electronics, pipelines, refrigeration systems, water purification, clothing, cosmetics, catalysts, sensors, nuclear waste containment and energy storage.
Some popular examples in which our aerogels can be implemented today: coatings, paints, plaster, cement, blankets, batteries, drug delivery systems, clothing, make-up, films, aerogel-polymer hybrids, oil spill absorbent,…
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