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Aerogel – the micro structural material of the future

Aerogel – the micro structural material of the future

Written by David

August 20, 2020

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Behind the simple headline “Additive manufacturing of silica aerogels” – the article was published on July 20th in the renowned scientific journal “Nature” – a groundbreaking development is hidden.

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Silica aerogels are light, porous foams that provide excellent thermal insulation. In practice, they are also known for their brittle behaviour, which is why they are usually reinforced with fibres or with organic or biopolymers for large-scale applications. Due to their brittle fracture behaviour, it is also not possible to saw or mill small pieces out of a larger aerogel block. Directly solidifying the gel in miniaturised moulds is also not reliably – which results in high scrap rates. This is why aerogels have hardly been usable for small-scale applications. Stable, well-formed microstructures The Empa team led […]

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