Silica Aerogel Essay by cjif

Silica Aerogel
This paper gives an overview of aerogels, with a focus on those made from silica and their household uses.
# 53354 | 1,417 words | 16 sources | MLA | 2001 | PH
Published on Oct 21, 2004 in Engineering (General) , Physics (General)

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This paper looks at aerogel, a lightweight material that is a cross between gel and air, whose superb physical, mechanical,and optical properties make it useful for high-tech applications, such as insulating the Mars rover. In particular, it explores how future uses extend to household applications, such as clear, insulating windows and sunroofs. It discusses the physical, mechanical, and optical properties of silica aerogels, as well as their general method of preparation and their applications.

What are Aerogels?
What Makes Aerogel a Super Material?
How are Aerogels Prepared?
Applications of Aerogel

From the Paper:

"A material that closely resembles aerogel, called xerogel, may be prepared at home or in the laboratory. The process will not require a high-pressure vessel as is in preparing aerogels. The simplest way to make a xerogel is to form a variety of gels and leave them out in the air to dry. Ordinary gelatin may be used for this purpose. Silica xerogels, however, may be prepared using sodium silicate gel-forming liquid. This is commonly used as a lubricant and is available at pharmacies. Xerogels are much denser than aerogels but provide some of the same high-temperature insulation."

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