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Sample records for aerogel blanket insulation

  1. Aerogel Blanket Insulation Materials for Cryogenic Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coffman, B. E.; Fesmire, J. E.; White, S.; Gould, G.; Augustynowicz, S.

    2009-01-01

    Aerogel blanket materials for use in thermal insulation systems are now commercially available and implemented by industry. Prototype aerogel blanket materials were presented at the Cryogenic Engineering Conference in 1997 and by 2004 had progressed to full commercial production by Aspen Aerogels. Today, this new technology material is providing superior energy efficiencies and enabling new design approaches for more cost effective cryogenic systems. Aerogel processing technology and methods are continuing to improve, offering a tailor-able array of product formulations for many different thermal and environmental requirements. Many different varieties and combinations of aerogel blankets have been characterized using insulation test cryostats at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory of NASA Kennedy Space Center. Detailed thermal conductivity data for a select group of materials are presented for engineering use. Heat transfer evaluations for the entire vacuum pressure range, including ambient conditions, are given. Examples of current cryogenic applications of aerogel blanket insulation are also given. KEYWORDS: Cryogenic tanks, thermal insulation, composite materials, aerogel, thermal conductivity, liquid nitrogen boil-off

  2. Improved Aerogel Vacuum Thermal Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruemmele, Warren P.; Bue, Grant C.

    2009-01-01

    An improved design concept for aerogel vacuum thermal-insulation panels calls for multiple layers of aerogel sandwiched between layers of aluminized Mylar (or equivalent) poly(ethylene terephthalate), as depicted in the figure. This concept is applicable to both the rigid (brick) form and the flexible (blanket) form of aerogel vacuum thermal-insulation panels. Heretofore, the fabrication of a typical aerogel vacuum insulating panel has involved encapsulation of a single layer of aerogel in poly(ethylene terephthalate) and pumping of gases out of the aerogel-filled volume. A multilayer panel according to the improved design concept is fabricated in basically the same way: Multiple alternating layers of aerogel and aluminized poly(ethylene terephthalate) are assembled, then encapsulated in an outer layer of poly(ethylene terephthalate), and then the volume containing the multilayer structure is evacuated as in the single-layer case. The multilayer concept makes it possible to reduce effective thermal conductivity of a panel below that of a comparable single-layer panel, without adding weight or incurring other performance penalties. Implementation of the multilayer concept is simple and relatively inexpensive, involving only a few additional fabrication steps to assemble the multiple layers prior to evacuation. For a panel of the blanket type, the multilayer concept, affords the additional advantage of reduced stiffness.

  3. Composite flexible blanket insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kourtides, Demetrius A. (Inventor); Lowe, David M. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    An improved composite flexible blanket insulation is presented comprising top silicon carbide having an interlock design, wherein the reflective shield is composed of single or double aluminized polyimide and wherein the polyimide film has a honeycomb pattern.

  4. Thermal insulation blanket material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusch, R. H.

    1982-01-01

    A study was conducted to provide a tailorable advanced blanket insulation based on a woven design having an integrally woven core structure. A highly pure quartz yarn was selected for weaving and the cells formed were filled with a microquartz felt insulation.

  5. Aerogels Insulate Against Extreme Temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2010-01-01

    In 1992, NASA started to pursue the development of aerogel for cryogenic insulation. Kennedy Space Center awarded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts to Aspen Systems Inc., of Marlborough, Massachusetts, that resulted in a new manufacturing process and a new flexible, durable, easy-to-use form of aerogel. Aspen Systems formed Aspen Aerogels Inc., in Northborough, Massachusetts, to market the product, and by 2009, the company had become the leading provider of aerogel in the United States, producing nearly 20 million square feet per year. With an array of commercial applications, the NASA-derived aerogel has most recently been applied to protect and insulate people s hands and feet.

  6. Analysis and Testing of Multilayer and Aerogel Insulation Configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, W. L.; Demko, J. A.; Fesmire, J. E.

    2010-04-01

    Multilayer insulation systems that have robust operational characteristics have long been a goal of many research projects. Such thermal insulation systems may need to offer some degree of structural support and/or mechanical integrity during loss of vacuum scenarios while continuing to provide insulative value to the vessel. Aerogel-based composite blankets can be the best insulation materials in ambient pressure environments; in high vacuum, the thermal performance of aerogel improves by about one order of magnitude. Standard multilayer insulation (MLI) is typically 50% worse at ambient pressure and at soft vacuum, but as much as two or three orders of magnitude better at high vacuum. Different combinations of aerogel blanket and multilayer insulation materials have been tested at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory of NASA Kennedy Space Center. Analysis performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory showed an importance to the relative location of the MLI and aerogel blankets. Apparent thermal conductivity testing under cryogenic-vacuum conditions was performed to verify the analytical conclusion. Tests results are shown to be in agreement with the analysis which indicated that the best performance is obtained with aerogel layers located in the middle of the blanket insulation system.

  7. Analysis and testing of multilayer and aerogel insulation configurations

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, W L; Demko, Jonathan A; Fesmire, J. E.

    2010-01-01

    Multilayer insulation systems that have robust operational characteristics have long been a goal of many research projects. Such thermal insulation systems may need to offer some degree of structural support and/or mechanical integrity during loss of vacuum scenarios while continuing to provide insulative value to the vessel. Aerogel-based composite blankets can be the best insulation materials in ambient pressure environments; in high vacuum, the thermal performance of aerogel improves by about one order of magnitude. Standard multilayer insulation (MLI) is typically 50% worse at ambient pressure and at soft vacuum, but as much as two or three orders of magnitude better at high vacuum. Different combinations of aerogel blanket and multilayer insulation materials have been tested at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory of NASA Kennedy Space Center. Analysis performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory showed an importance to the relative location of the MLI and aerogel blankets. Apparent thermal conductivity testing under cryogenicvacuum conditions was performed to verify the analytical conclusion. Tests results are shown to be in agreement with the analysis which indicated that the best performance is obtained with aerogel layers located in the middle of the blanket insulation system.

  8. Hybrid Multifoil Aerogel Thermal Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Paik, Jong-Ah; Jones, Steven; Nesmith, Bill

    2008-01-01

    This innovation blends the merits of multifoil insulation (MFI) with aerogel-based insulation to develop a highly versatile, ultra-low thermally conductive material called hybrid multifoil aerogel thermal insulation (HyMATI). The density of the opacified aerogel is 240 mg/cm3 and has thermal conductivity in the 20 mW/mK range in high vacuum and 25 mW/mK in 1 atmosphere of gas (such as argon) up to 800 C. It is stable up to 1,000 C. This is equal to commercially available high-temperature thermal insulation. The thermal conductivity of the aerogel is 36 percent lower compared to several commercially available insulations when tested in 1 atmosphere of argon gas up to 800 C.

  9. Thermal Performance Testing of Order Dependancy of Aerogels Multilayered Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Wesley L.; Fesmire, James E.; Demko, J. A.

    2009-01-01

    Robust multilayer insulation systems have long been a goal of many research projects. Such insulation systems must provide some degree of structural support and also mechanical integrity during loss of vacuum scenarios while continuing to provide insulative value to the vessel. Aerogel composite blankets can be the best insulation materials in ambient pressure environments; in high vacuum, the thermal performance of aerogel improves by about one order of magnitude. Standard multilayer insulation (MU) is typically 50% worse at ambient pressure and at soft vacuum, but as much as two or three orders of magnitude better at high vacuum. Different combinations of aerogel and multilayer insulation systems have been tested at Cryogenics Test Laboratory of NASA Kennedy Space Center. Analysis performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory showed an importance to the relative location of the MU and aerogel blankets. Apparent thermal conductivity testing under cryogenic-vacuum conditions was performed to verify the analytical conclusion. Tests results are shown to be in agreement with the analysis which indicated that the best performance is obtained with aerogel layers located in the middle of the blanket insulation system.

  10. Tailorable Advanced Blanket Insulation (TABI)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sawko, Paul M.; Goldstein, Howard E.

    1987-01-01

    Single layer and multilayer insulating blankets for high-temperature service fabricated without sewing. TABI woven fabric made of aluminoborosilicate. Triangular-cross-section flutes of core filled with silica batting. Flexible blanket formed into curved shapes, providing high-temperature and high-heat-flux insulation.

  11. Polyimide-Foam/Aerogel Composites for Thermal Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Martha; Fesmire, James; Sass, Jared; Smith, Trent; Weoser. Erol

    2009-01-01

    Composites of specific types of polymer foams and aerogel particles or blankets have been proposed to obtain thermal insulation performance superior to those of the neat polyimide foams. These composites have potential to also provide enhanced properties for vibration dampening or acoustic attenuation. The specific type of polymer foam is denoted "TEEK-H", signifying a series, denoted H, within a family of polyimide foams that were developed at NASA s Langley Research Center and are collectively denoted TEEK (an acronym of the inventors names). The specific types of aerogels include Nanogel aerogel particles from Cabot Corporation in Billerica, MA. and of Spaceloft aerogel blanket from Aspen Aerogels in Northborough, MA. The composites are inherently flame-retardant and exceptionally thermally stable. There are numerous potential uses for these composites, at temperatures from cryogenic to high temperatures, in diverse applications that include aerospace vehicles, aircraft, ocean vessels, buildings, and industrial process equipment. Some low-temperature applications, for example, include cryogenic storage and transfer or the transport of foods, medicines, and chemicals. Because of thermal cycling, aging, and weathering most polymer foams do not perform well at cryogenic temperatures and will undergo further cracking over time. The TEEK polyimides are among the few exceptions to this pattern, and the proposed composites are intended to have all the desirable properties of TEEK-H foams, plus improved thermal performance along with enhanced vibration or acoustic-attenuation performance. A composite panel as proposed would be fabricated by adding an appropriate amount of TEEK friable balloons into a mold to form a bottom layer. A piece of flexible aerogel blanket material, cut to the desired size and shape, would then be placed on the bottom TEEK layer and sandwiched between another top layer of polyimide friable balloons so that the aerogel blanket would become

  12. Aerogel-Based Insulation for Industrial Steam Distribution Systems

    SciTech Connect

    John Williams

    2011-03-30

    Thermal losses in industrial steam distribution systems account for 977 trillion Btu/year in the US, more than 1% of total domestic energy consumption. Aspen Aerogels worked with Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program to specify, develop, scale-up, demonstrate, and deliver Pyrogel XT®, an aerogel-based pipe insulation, to market to reduce energy losses in industrial steam systems. The product developed has become Aspen’s best selling flexible aerogel blanket insulation and has led to over 60 new jobs. Additionally, this product has delivered more than ~0.7 TBTU of domestic energy savings to date, and could produce annual energy savings of 149 TBTU by 2030. Pyrogel XT’s commercial success has been driven by it’s 2-4X better thermal performance, improved durability, greater resistance to corrosion under insulation (CUI), and faster installation times than incumbent insulation materials.

  13. Aerogels Insulate Missions and Consumer Products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Aspen Aerogels, of Northborough, Massachusetts, worked with NASA through an SBIR contract with Kennedy Space Center to develop a robust, flexible form of aerogel for cryogenic insulation for space shuttle launch applications. The company has since used the same manufacturing process developed under the SBIR award to expand its product offerings into the more commercial realms, making the naturally fragile aerogel available for the first time as a standard insulation that can be handled and installed just like standard insulation.

  14. Composite Flexible Blanket Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kourtides, Demetrius A. (Inventor); Pitts, William C. (Inventor); Goldstein, Howard E. (Inventor); Sawko, Paul M. (Inventor)

    1991-01-01

    Composite flexible multilayer insulation systems (MLI) were evaluated for thermal performance and compared with the currently used fibrous silica (baseline) insulation system. The systems described are multilayer insulations consisting of alternating layers of metal foil and scrim ceramic cloth or vacuum metallized polymeric films quilted together using ceramic thread. A silicon carbide thread for use in the quilting and the method of making it are also described. These systems are useful in providing lightweight insulation for a variety of uses, particularly on the surface of aerospace vehicles subject to very high temperatures during flight.

  15. Aerogels for Thermal Insulation of Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Snyder, Jeffrey; Jones, Steven; Caillat, Thierry

    2006-01-01

    Silica aerogels have been shown to be attractive for use as thermal-insulation materials for thermoelectric devices. It is desirable to thermally insulate the legs of thermoelectric devices to suppress lateral heat leaks that degrade thermal efficiency. Aerogels offer not only high thermal- insulation effectiveness, but also a combination of other properties that are especially advantageous in thermoelectric- device applications. Aerogels are synthesized by means of sol-gel chemistry, which is ideal for casting insulation into place. As the scale of the devices to be insulated decreases, the castability from liquid solutions becomes increasingly advantageous: By virtue of castability, aerogel insulation can be made to encapsulate devices having any size from macroscopic down to nanoscopic and possibly having complex, three-dimensional shapes. Castable aerogels can permeate voids having characteristic dimensions as small as nanometers. Hence, practically all the void space surrounding the legs of thermoelectric devices could be filled with aerogel insulation, making the insulation highly effective. Because aerogels have the lowest densities of any known solid materials, they would add very little mass to the encapsulated devices. The thermal-conductivity values of aerogels are among the lowest reported for any material, even after taking account of the contributions of convection and radiation (in addition to true thermal conduction) to overall effective thermal conductivities. Even in ambient air, the contribution of convection to effective overall thermal conductivity of an aerogel is extremely low because of the highly tortuous nature of the flow paths through the porous aerogel structure. For applications that involve operating temperatures high enough to give rise to significant amounts of infrared radiation, opacifiers could be added to aerogels to reduce the radiative contributions to overall effective thermal conductivities. One example of an opacifier is

  16. Nonflammable, Hydrophobic Aerogel Composites for Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redouane, Begag

    2005-01-01

    Aerogel composites that are both nonflammable and hydrophobic have been developed for use as lightweight thermal- insulation materials for cryogenic systems. Aerogels are well known in the industry for their effectiveness as thermal insulators under cryogenic conditions, but the treatments used heretofore to render them hydrophobic also make them flammable. Nonflammability would make it safer to use aerogel insulation, especially in oxygen-rich environments and on cryogenic systems that contain liquid oxygen. A composite of this type is a silica aerogel reinforced with fibers. In comparison with unreinforced aerogels, the aerogel composite is about ten times as stiff and strong, better able to withstand handling, and more amenable to machining to required shapes. The composite can be made hydrophobic and nonflammable by appropriate design of a sol-gel process used to synthesize the aerogel component. In addition to very low thermal conductivity needed for insulation, aerogel composites of this type have been found to exhibit high resistance to moisture and nonflammability in oxygen-rich atmospheres: Samples floating on water for months gained no weight and showed no signs of deterioration. Samples were found to be nonflammable, even in pure oxygen at atmospheric pressure [14.7 psia (0.10 MPa)

  17. Aerogel Beads as Cryogenic Thermal Insulation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesmire, J. E.; Augustynowicz, S. D.; Rouanet, S.; Thompson, Karen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    An investigation of the use of aerogel beads as thermal insulation for cryogenic applications was conducted at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory of NASA Kennedy Space Center. Steady-state liquid nitrogen boiloff methods were used to characterize the thermal performance of aerogel beads in comparison with conventional insulation products such as perlite powder and multilayer insulation (MLI). Aerogel beads produced by Cabot Corporation have a bulk density below 100 kilograms per cubic meter (kg/cubic m) and a mean particle diameter of 1 millimeter (mm). The apparent thermal conductivity values of the bulk material have been determined under steady-state conditions at boundary temperatures of approximately 293 and 77 kelvin (K) and at various cold vacuum pressures (CVP). Vacuum levels ranged from 10(exp -5) torr to 760 torr. All test articles were made in a cylindrical configuration with a typical insulation thickness of 25 mm. Temperature profiles through the thickness of the test specimens were also measured. The results showed the performance of the aerogel beads was significantly better than the conventional materials in both soft-vacuum (1 to 10 torr) and no-vacuum (760 torr) ranges. Opacified aerogel beads performed better than perlite powder under high-vacuum conditions. Further studies for material optimization and system application are in progress.

  18. Aerogel beads as cryogenic thermal insulation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fesmire, J. E.; Augustynowicz, S. D.; Rouanet, S.

    2002-05-01

    An investigation of the use of aerogel beads as thermal insulation for cryogenic applications was conducted at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory of NASA Kennedy Space Center. Steady-state liquid nitrogen boiloff methods were used to characterize the thermal performance of aerogel beads in comparison with conventional insulation products such as perlite powder and multilayer insulation (MLI). Aerogel beads produced by Cabot Corporation have a bulk density below 100 kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3) and a mean particle diameter of 1 millimeter (mm). The apparent thermal conductivity values of the bulk material have been determined under steady-state conditions at boundary temperatures of approximately 293 and 77 kelvin (K) and at various cold vacuum pressures (CVP). Vacuum levels ranged from 10-5 torr to 760 torr. All test articles were made in a cylindrical configuration with a typical insulation thickness of 25 mm. Temperature profiles through the thickness of the test specimens were also measured. The results showed the performance of the aerogel beads was significantly better than the conventional materials in both soft-vacuum (1 to 10 torr) and no-vacuum (760 torr) ranges. Opacified aerogel beads performed better than perlite powder under high-vacuum conditions. Further studies for material optimization and system application are in progress.

  19. Fibrous-Ceramic/Aerogel Composite Insulating Tiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Susan M.; Rasky, Daniel J.

    2004-01-01

    Fibrous-ceramic/aerogel composite tiles have been invented to afford combinations of thermal-insulation and mechanical properties superior to those attainable by making tiles of fibrous ceramics alone or aerogels alone. These lightweight tiles can be tailored to a variety of applications that range from insulating cryogenic tanks to protecting spacecraft against re-entry heating. The advantages and disadvantages of fibrous ceramics and aerogels can be summarized as follows: Tiles made of ceramic fibers are known for mechanical strength, toughness, and machinability. Fibrous ceramic tiles are highly effective as thermal insulators in a vacuum. However, undesirably, the porosity of these materials makes them permeable by gases, so that in the presence of air or other gases, convection and gas-phase conduction contribute to the effective thermal conductivity of the tiles. Other disadvantages of the porosity and permeability of fibrous ceramic tiles arise because gases (e.g., water vapor or cryogenic gases) can condense in pores. This condensation contributes to weight, and in the case of cryogenic systems, the heat of condensation undesirably adds to the heat flowing to the objects that one seeks to keep cold. Moreover, there is a risk of explosion associated with vaporization of previously condensed gas upon reheating. Aerogels offer low permeability, low density, and low thermal conductivity, but are mechanically fragile. The basic idea of the present invention is to exploit the best features of fibrous ceramic tiles and aerogels. In a composite tile according to the invention, the fibrous ceramic serves as a matrix that mechanically supports the aerogel, while the aerogel serves as a low-conductivity, low-permeability filling that closes what would otherwise be the open pores of the fibrous ceramic. Because the aerogel eliminates or at least suppresses permeation by gas, gas-phase conduction, and convection, the thermal conductivity of such a composite even at

  20. Method of fabricating a multilayer insulation blanket

    DOEpatents

    Gonczy, John D.; Niemann, Ralph C.; Boroski, William N.

    1993-01-01

    An improved multilayer insulation blanket for insulating cryogenic structures operating at very low temperatures is disclosed. An apparatus and method for fabricating the improved blanket are also disclosed. In the improved blanket, each successive layer of insulating material is greater in length and width than the preceding layer so as to accommodate thermal contraction of the layers closest to the cryogenic structure. The fabricating apparatus has a rotatable cylindrical mandrel having an outer surface of fixed radius that is substantially arcuate, preferably convex, in cross-section. The method of fabricating the improved blanket comprises (a) winding a continuous sheet of thermally reflective material around the circumference of the mandrel to form multiple layers, (b) binding the layers along two lines substantially parallel to the edges of the circumference of the mandrel, (c) cutting the layers along a line parallel to the axle of the mandrel, and (d) removing the bound layers from the mandrel.

  1. Multilayer insulation blanket, fabricating apparatus and method

    DOEpatents

    Gonczy, John D.; Niemann, Ralph C.; Boroski, William N.

    1992-01-01

    An improved multilayer insulation blanket for insulating cryogenic structures operating at very low temperatures is disclosed. An apparatus and method for fabricating the improved blanket are also disclosed. In the improved blanket, each successive layer of insulating material is greater in length and width than the preceding layer so as to accommodate thermal contraction of the layers closest to the cryogenic structure. The fabricating apparatus has a rotatable cylindrical mandrel having an outer surface of fixed radius that is substantially arcuate, preferably convex, in cross-section. The method of fabricating the improved blanket comprises (a) winding a continuous sheet of thermally reflective material around the circumference of the mandrel to form multiple layers, (b) binding the layers along two lines substantially parallel to the edges of the circumference of the mandrel, (c) cutting the layers along a line parallel to the axle of the mandrel, and (d) removing the bound layers from the mandrel.

  2. Method of fabricating a multilayer insulation blanket

    DOEpatents

    Gonczy, J.D.; Niemann, R.C.; Boroski, W.N.

    1993-07-06

    An improved multilayer insulation blanket for insulating cryogenic structures operating at very low temperatures is disclosed. An apparatus and method for fabricating the improved blanket are also disclosed. In the improved blanket, each successive layer of insulating material is greater in length and width than the preceding layer so as to accommodate thermal contraction of the layers closest to the cryogenic structure. The fabricating apparatus has a rotatable cylindrical mandrel having an outer surface of fixed radius that is substantially arcuate, preferably convex, in cross-section. The method of fabricating the improved blanket comprises (a) winding a continuous sheet of thermally reflective material around the circumference of the mandrel to form multiple layers, (b) binding the layers along two lines substantially parallel to the edges of the circumference of the mandrel, (c) cutting the layers along a line parallel to the axle of the mandrel, and (d) removing the bound layers from the mandrel.

  3. Multilayer insulation blanket, fabricating apparatus and method

    DOEpatents

    Gonczy, J.D.; Niemann, R.C.; Boroski, W.N.

    1992-09-01

    An improved multilayer insulation blanket for insulating cryogenic structures operating at very low temperatures is disclosed. An apparatus and method for fabricating the improved blanket are also disclosed. In the improved blanket, each successive layer of insulating material is greater in length and width than the preceding layer so as to accommodate thermal contraction of the layers closest to the cryogenic structure. The fabricating apparatus has a rotatable cylindrical mandrel having an outer surface of fixed radius that is substantially arcuate, preferably convex, in cross-section. The method of fabricating the improved blanket comprises (a) winding a continuous sheet of thermally reflective material around the circumference of the mandrel to form multiple layers, (b) binding the layers along two lines substantially parallel to the edges of the circumference of the mandrel, (c) cutting the layers along a line parallel to the axle of the mandrel, and (d) removing the bound layers from the mandrel. 7 figs.

  4. Thermal insulation blanket material. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Pusch, R.H.

    1982-06-01

    A study was conducted to provide a tailorable advanced blanket insulation based on a woven design having an integrally woven core structure. A highly pure quartz yarn was selected for weaving and the cells formed were filled with a microquartz felt insulation.

  5. Aerogel Insulation Systems for Space Launch Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesmire, James E.

    2005-01-01

    New developments in materials science in the areas of solution gelation processes and nanotechnology have led to the recent commercial production of aerogels. Concurrent with these advancements has been the development of new approaches to cryogenic thermal insulation systems. For example, thermal and physical characterizations of aerogel beads under cryogenic-vacuum conditions have been performed at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory of the NASA Kennedy Space Center. Aerogel-based insulation system demonstrations have also been conducted to improve performance for space launch applications. Subscale cryopumping experiments show the thermal insulating ability of these fully breathable nanoporous materials. For a properly executed thermal insulation system, these breathable aerogel systems are shown to not cryopump beyond the initial cooldown and thermal stabilization phase. New applications are being developed to augment the thermal protection systems of space launch vehicles, including the Space Shuttle External Tank. These applications include a cold-boundary temperature of 90 K with an ambient air environment in which both weather and flight aerodynamics are important considerations. Another application is a nitrogen-purged environment with a cold-boundary temperature of 20 K where both initial cooldown and launch ascent profiles must be considered. Experimental results and considerations for these flight system applications are discussed.

  6. Insulation Blankets for High-Temperature Use

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, H.; Leiser, D.; Sawko, P. M.; Larson, H. K.; Estrella, C.; Smith, M.; Pitoniak, F. J.

    1986-01-01

    Insulating blanket resists temperatures up to 1,500 degrees F (815 degrees C). Useful where high-temperature resistance, flexibility, and ease of installation are important - for example, insulation for odd-shaped furnaces and high-temperature ducts, curtains for furnace openings and fire control, and conveyor belts in hot processes. Blanket is quilted composite consisting of two face sheets: outer one of silica, inner one of silica or other glass cloth with center filling of pure silica glass felt sewn together with silica glass threads.

  7. Nanogel Aerogel as Load Bearing Insulation for Cryogenic Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koravos, J. J.; Miller, T. M.; Fesmire, J. E.; Coffman, B. E.

    2010-04-01

    Load support structures in cryogenic storage, transport and processing systems are large contributors to the total heat leak of the system. Conventional insulation systems require the use of these support members in order to stabilize the process fluid enclosure and prevent degradation of insulation performance due to compression. Removal of these support structures would substantially improve system efficiency. Nanogel aerogel insulation performance is tested at vacuum pressures ranging from high vacuum to atmospheric pressure and under loads from loosely packed to greater than 10,000 Pa. Insulation performance is determined using boil-off calorimetry with liquid nitrogen as the latent heat recipient. Two properties of the aerogel insulation material suit it to act as a load bearing "structure" in a process vessel: (1) Ability to maintain thermal performance under load; (2) Elasticity when subjected to load. Results of testing provide positive preliminary indication that these properties allow Nanogel aerogel to effectively be used as a load bearing insulation in cryogenic systems.

  8. Aerogel Insulation Applications for Liquid Hydrogen Launch Vehicle Tanks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesmire, J. E.; Sass, J.

    2007-01-01

    Aerogel based insulation systems for ambient pressure environments were developed for liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank applications. Solutions to thermal insulation problems were demonstrated for the Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) through extensive testing at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory. Demonstration testing was performed using a 1/10th scale ET LH2 intertank unit and liquid helium as the coolant to provide the 20 K cold boundary temperature. Cryopumping tests in the range of 20K were performed using both constant mass and constant pressure methods. Long-duration tests (up to 10 hours) showed that the nitrogen mass taken up inside the intertank is reduced by a factor of nearly three for the aerogel insulated case as compared to the un-insulated (bare metal flight configuration) case. Test results including thermal stabilization, heat transfer effectiveness, and cryopumping confirm that the aerogel system eliminates free liquid nitrogen within the intertank. Physisorption (or adsorption) of liquid nitrogen within the fine pore structure of aerogel materials was also investigated. Results of a mass uptake method show that the sorption ratio (liquid nitrogen to aerogel beads) is about 62 percent by volume. A novel liquid nitrogen production method of testing the liquid nitrogen physical adsorption capacity of aerogel beads was also performed to more closely approximate the actual launch vehicle cooldown and thermal stabilization effects within the aerogel material. The extraordinary insulating effectiveness of the aerogel material shows that cryopumping is not an open-cell mass transport issue but is strictly driven by thermal communication between warm and cold surfaces. The new aerogel insulation technology is useful to solve heat transfer problem areas and to augment existing thermal protection systems on launch vehicles. Examples are given and potential benefits for producing launch systems that are more reliable, robust, reusable, and efficient are outlined.

  9. Aerogel-Based Multilayer Insulation with Micrometeoroid Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begag, Redouane; White, Shannon

    2013-01-01

    Ultra-low-density, highly hydrophobic, fiber-reinforced aerogel material integrated with MLI (aluminized Mylar reflectors and B4A Dacron separators) offers a highly effective insulation package by providing unsurpassed thermal performance and significant robustness, delivering substantial MMOD protection via the addition of a novel, durable, external aerogel layer. The hydrophobic nature of the aerogel is an important property for maintaining thermal performance if the material is exposed to the environment (i.e. rain, snow, etc.) during ground installations. The hybrid aerogel/MLI/MMOD solution affords an attractive alternative because it will perform thermally in the same range as MLI at all vacuum levels (including high vacuum), and offers significant protection from micrometeoroid damage. During this effort, the required low-density and resilient aerogel materials have been developed that are needed to optimize the thermal performance for space (high vacuum) cryotank applications. The proposed insulation/MMOD package is composed of two sections: a stack of interleaved aerogel layers and MLI intended for cryotank thermal insulation, and a 1.5- to 1-in. (.2.5- to 3.8- cm) thick aerogel layer (on top of the insulation portion) for MMOD protection. Learning that low-density aerogel cannot withstand the hypervelocity impact test conditions, the innovators decided during the course of the program to fabricate a high-density and strong material based on a cross-linked aerogel (X-aerogel; developed elsewhere by the innovators) for MMOD protection. This system has shown a very high compressive strength that is capable of withstanding high-impact tests if a proper configuration of the MMOD aerogel layer is used. It was learned that by stacking two X-aerogel layers [1.5-in. (.3.8-cm) thick] separated by an air gap, the system would be able to hold the threat at a speed of 5 km/s and gpass h the test. The first aerogel panel stopped the projectile from damaging the second

  10. Thin Thermal-Insulation Blankets for Very High Temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, Michael K.

    2003-01-01

    Thermal-insulation blankets of a proposed type would be exceptionally thin and would endure temperatures up to 2,100 C. These blankets were originally intended to protect components of the NASA Solar Probe spacecraft against radiant heating at its planned closest approach to the Sun (a distance of 4 solar radii). These blankets could also be used on Earth to provide thermal protection in special applications (especially in vacuum chambers) for which conventional thermal-insulation blankets would be too thick or would not perform adequately.

  11. Development of insulating coatings for liquid metal blankets

    SciTech Connect

    Malang, S.; Borgstedt, H.U.; Farnum, E.H.; Natesan, K.; Vitkovski, I.V.

    1994-07-01

    It is shown that self-cooled liquid metal blankets are feasible only with electrically insulating coatings at the duct walls. The requirements on the insulation properties are estimated by simple analytical models. Candidate insulator materials are selected based on insulating properties and thermodynamic consideration. Different fabrication technologies for insulating coatings are described. The status of the knowledge on the most crucial feasibility issue, the degradation of the resisivity under irradiation, is reviewed.

  12. Thin Aerogel as a Spacer in Multilayer Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moroz, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    Cryogenic fluid management is a critical technical area that is needed for future space exploration. A key challenge is the storability of liquid hydrogen (LH2), liquid methane (LCH4), and liquid oxygen (LOX) propellants for long-duration missions. The storage tanks must be well-insulated to prevent over-pressurization and venting, which can lead to unacceptable propellant losses for long-duration missions to Mars and beyond. Aspen Aerogels had validated the key process step to enable the fabrication of thin, low-density aerogel materials. The multilayer aerogel insulation (MLAI) system prototypes were prepared using sheets of aerogel materials with superior thermal performance exceeding current state-of-the-art insulation for space applications. The exceptional properties of this system include a new breakthrough in high-vacuum cryogenic thermal insulation, providing a durable material with excellent thermal performance at a reduced cost when compared to longstanding state-of-the-art multilayer insulation systems. During the Phase II project, further refinement and qualification/system-level testing of the MLAI system will be performed for use in cryogenic storage applications. Aspen has been in discussions with United Launch Alliance, LLC; NASA's Kennedy Space Center; and Yetispace, Inc., to test the MLAI system on rea-lworld tanks such as Vibro-Acoustic Test Article (VATA) or the Cryogenic Orbital Testbed (CRYOTE).

  13. Thin Aerogel as a Spacer in Multilayer Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moroz, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    Cryogenic fluid management is a critical technical area that is needed for future space exploration. A key challenge is the storability of liquid hydrogen (LH2), liquid methane (LCH4), and liquid oxygen (LOX) propellants for long-duration missions. The storage tanks must be well-insulated to prevent over-pressurization and venting, which can lead to unacceptable propellant losses for long-duration missions to Mars and beyond. Aspen Aerogels had validated the key process step to enable the fabrication of thin, low-density aerogel materials. The multilayer aerogel insulation (MLAI) system prototypes were prepared using sheets of aerogel materials with superior thermal performance exceeding current state-of-the-art insulation for space applications. The exceptional properties of this system include a new breakthrough in high-vacuum cryogenic thermal insulation, providing a durable material with excellent thermal performance at a reduced cost when compared to longstanding state-of-the-art multilayer insulation systems. During the Phase II project, further refinement and qualification/system-level testing of the MLAI system will be performed for use in cryogenic storage applications. Aspen has been in discussions with United Launch Alliance, LLC; NASA's Kennedy Space Center; and Yetispace, Inc., to test the MLAI system on real-world tanks such as Vibro-Acoustic Test Article (VATA) or the Cryogenic Orbital Testbed (CRYOTE).

  14. Process for forming transparent aerogel insulating arrays

    DOEpatents

    Tewari, Param H.; Hunt, Arlon J.

    1986-01-01

    An improved supercritical drying process for forming transparent silica aerogel arrays is described. The process is of the type utilizing the steps of hydrolyzing and condensing aloxides to form alcogels. A subsequent step removes the alcohol to form aerogels. The improvement includes the additional step, after alcogels are formed, of substituting a solvent, such as CO.sub.2, for the alcohol in the alcogels, the solvent having a critical temperature less than the critical temperature of the alcohol. The resulting gels are dried at a supercritical temperature for the selected solvent, such as CO.sub.2, to thereby provide a transparent aerogel array within a substantially reduced (days-to-hours) time period. The supercritical drying occurs at about 40.degree. C. instead of at about 270.degree. C. The improved process provides increased yields of large scale, structurally sound arrays. The transparent aerogel array, formed in sheets or slabs, as made in accordance with the improved process, can replace the air gap within a double glazed window, for example, to provide a substantial reduction in heat transfer. The thus formed transparent aerogel arrays may also be utilized, for example, in windows of refrigerators and ovens, or in the walls and doors thereof or as the active material in detectors for analyzing high energy elementry particles or cosmic rays.

  15. Process for forming transparent aerogel insulating arrays

    DOEpatents

    Tewari, P.H.; Hunt, A.J.

    1985-09-04

    An improved supercritical drying process for forming transparent silica aerogel arrays is described. The process is of the type utilizing the steps of hydrolyzing and condensing aloxides to form alcogels. A subsequent step removes the alcohol to form aerogels. The improvement includes the additional step, after alcogels are formed, of substituting a solvent, such as CO/sub 2/, for the alcohol in the alcogels, the solvent having a critical temperature less than the critical temperature of the alcohol. The resulting gels are dried at a supercritical temperature for the selected solvent, such as CO/sub 2/, to thereby provide a transparent aerogel array within a substantially reduced (days-to-hours) time period. The supercritical drying occurs at about 40/sup 0/C instead of at about 270/sup 0/C. The improved process provides increased yields of large scale, structurally sound arrays. The transparent aerogel array, formed in sheets or slabs, as made in accordance with the improved process, can replace the air gap within a double glazed window, for example, to provide a substantial reduction in heat transfer. The thus formed transparent aerogel arrays may also be utilized, for example, in windows of refrigerators and ovens, or in the walls and doors thereof or as the active material in detectors for analyzing high energy elementary particles or cosmic rays.

  16. Low-Density, Aerogel-Filled Thermal-Insulation Tiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santos, Maryann; Heng, Vann; Barney, Andrea; Oka, Kris; Droege, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Aerogel fillings have been investigated in a continuing effort to develop low-density thermal-insulation tiles that, relative to prior such tiles, have greater dimensional stability (especially less shrinkage), equal or lower thermal conductivity, and greater strength and durability. In preparation for laboratory tests of dimensional and thermal stability, prototypes of aerogel-filled versions of recently developed low-density tiles have been fabricated by impregnating such tiles to various depths with aerogel formations ranging in density from 1.5 to 5.6 lb/ft3 (about 53 to 200 kg/cu m). Results available at the time of reporting the information for this article showed that the thermal-insulation properties of the partially or fully aerogel- impregnated tiles were equivalent or superior to those of the corresponding non-impregnated tiles and that the partially impregnated tiles exhibited minimal (<1.5 percent) shrinkage after multiple exposures at a temperature of 2,300 F (1,260 C). Latest developments have shown that tiles containing aerogels at the higher end of the density range are stable after multiple exposures at the said temperature.

  17. Thin Thermal-Insulation Blankets for Very High Temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, Michael K.

    2003-01-01

    Thermal-insulation blankets of a proposed type would be exceptionally thin and would endure temperatures up to 2,100 C. These blankets were originally intended to protect components of the NASA Solar Probe spacecraft against radiant heating at its planned closest approach to the Sun (a distance of 4 solar radii). These blankets could also be used on Earth to provide thermal protection in special applications (especially in vacuum chambers) for which conventional thermal-insulation blankets would be too thick or would not perform adequately. A blanket according to the proposal (see figure) would be made of molybdenum, titanium nitride, and carbon- carbon composite mesh, which melt at temperatures of 2,610, 2,930, and 2,130 C, respectively. The emittance of molybdenum is 0.24, while that of titanium nitride is 0.03. Carbon-carbon composite mesh is a thermal insulator. Typically, the blanket would include 0.25-mil (.0.00635-mm)-thick hot-side and cold-side cover layers of molybdenum. Titanium nitride would be vapor-deposited on both surfaces of each cover layer. Between the cover layers there would be 10 inner layers of 0.15-mil (.0.0038-mm)-thick molybdenum with vapor-deposited titanium nitride on both sides of each layer. The thickness of each titanium nitride coat would be about 1,000 A. The cover and inner layers would be interspersed with 0.25-mil (0.00635-mm)-thick layers of carbon-carbon composite mesh. The blanket would have total thickness of 4.75 mils (approximately equal to 0.121 mm) and an areal mass density of 0.7 kilograms per square meter. One could, of course, increase the thermal- insulation capability of the blanket by increasing number of inner layers (thereby unavoidably increasing the total thickness and mass density).

  18. Aerogel-Based Insulation for High-Temperature Industrial Processes

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Owen Evans

    2011-10-13

    Under this program, Aspen Aerogels has developed an industrial insulation called Pyrogel HT, which is 4-5 times more thermally efficient than current non-aerogel technology. Derived from nanoporous silica aerogels, Pyrogel HT was specifically developed to address a high temperature capability gap not currently met with Aspen Aerogels{trademark} flagship product, Pyrogel XT. Pyrogel XT, which was originally developed on a separate DOE contract (DE-FG36-06GO16056), was primarily optimized for use in industrial steam processing systems, where application temperatures typically do not exceed 400 C. At the time, further improvements in thermal performance above 400 C could not be reasonably achieved for Pyrogel XT without significantly affecting other key material properties using the current technology. Cumulative sales of Pyrogel HT into domestic power plants should reach $125MM through 2030, eventually reaching about 10% of the total insulation market share in that space. Global energy savings would be expected to scale similarly. Over the same period, these sales would reduce domestic energy consumption by more than 65 TBtu. Upon branching out into all industrial processes in the 400 C-650 C regime, Pyrogel HT would reach annual sales levels of $150MM, with two-thirds of that being exported.

  19. Advanced Polymer For Multilayer Insulating Blankets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haghighat, R. Ross; Shepp, Allan

    1996-01-01

    Polymer resisting degradation by monatomic oxygen undergoing commercial development under trade name "Aorimide" ("atomic-oxygen-resistant imidazole"). Intended for use in thermal blankets for spacecraft in low orbit, useful on Earth in outdoor applications in which sunlight and ozone degrades other plastics. Also used, for example, to make threads and to make films coated with metals for reflectivity.

  20. Double layered tailorable advanced blanket insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Falstrup, D.

    1983-01-01

    An advanced flexible reusable surface insulation material for future space shuttle flights was investigated. A conventional fly shuttle loom with special modifications to weave an integral double layer triangular core fabric from quartz yarn was used. Two types of insulating material were inserted into the cells of the fabric, and a procedure to accomplish this was developed. The program is follow up of a program in which single layer rectangular cell core fabrics are woven and a single type of insulating material was inserted into the cells.

  1. Tailorable advanced blanket insulation using aluminoborosilicate and alumina batting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calamito, Dominic P.

    1989-01-01

    Two types of Tailorable Advanced Blanket Insulation (TABI) flat panels for Advanced Space Transportation Systems were produced. Both types consisted of integrally woven, 3-D fluted core having parallel faces and connecting ribs of Nicalon yarns. The triangular cross section flutes of one type was filled with mandrels of processed Ultrafiber (aluminoborosilicate) stitchbonded Nextel 440 fibrous felt, and the second type wall filled with Saffil alumina fibrous felt insulation. Weaving problems were minimal. Insertion of the fragile insulation mandrels into the fabric flutes was improved by using a special insertion tool. An attempt was made to weave fluted core fabrics from Nextel 440 yarns but was unsuccessful because of the yarn's fragility. A small sample was eventually produced by an unorthodox weaving process and then filled with Saffil insulation. The procedures for setting up and weaving the fabrics and preparing and inserting insulation mandrels are discussed. Characterizations of the panels produced are also presented.

  2. Sprayable Aerogel Bead Compositions With High Shear Flow Resistance and High Thermal Insulation Value

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ou, Danny; Trifu, Roxana; Caggiano, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    A sprayable aerogel insulation has been developed that has good mechanical integrity and lower thermal conductivity than incumbent polyurethane spray-on foam insulation, at similar or lower areal densities, to prevent insulation cracking and debonding in an effort to eliminate the generation of inflight debris. This new, lightweight aerogel under bead form can be used as insulation in various thermal management systems that require low mass and volume, such as cryogenic storage tanks, pipelines, space platforms, and launch vehicles.

  3. Aerogel: From Aerospace to Apparel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Aspen Systems Inc. developed an aerogel-manufacturing process solved the handling problems associated with aerogel-based insulation products. Their aerogels can now be manufactured into blankets, thin sheets, beads, and molded parts; and may be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Aspen made the material effective for window and skylight insulation, non-flammable building insulation, and inexpensive firewall insulation that will withstand fires in homes and buildings, and also assist in the prevention of forest fires. Another Aspen product is Spaceloft(TM); an inexpensive, flexible blanket that incorporates a thin layer of aerogel embedded directly into the fabric. Spaceloft, is incorporated into jackets intended for wear in extremely harsh conditions and activities, such as Antarctic expeditions.

  4. Thermal resistance and compressive strain of underwater aerogel syntactic foam hybrid insulation at atmospheric and elevated hydrostatic pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardy, Erik; Mollendorf, Joseph; Pendergast, David

    2006-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to present a new underwater thermal insulation designed for flexibility and high thermal resistance. The insulation was a hybrid composite of two constituents: syntactic foam and an insulating aerogel blanket. Methods for treating and combining the constituents into a hybrid insulation of several designs are presented. A final configuration was selected based on high thermal resistance and was tested for thermal resistance and compressive strain to a pressure of 1.2 MPa (107 msw, meters of sea water) for five continuous pressure cycles. The thermal resistance and compressive strain results were compared to foam neoprene and underwater pipeline insulation. It was found that the hybrid insulation has a thermal resistance significantly higher than both foam neoprene and underwater pipeline insulation at atmospheric and elevated hydrostatic pressures (1.2 MPa). The total thermal resistance of the hybrid insulation decreased 32% at 1.2 MPa and returned to its initial value upon decompression. It was concluded that the hybrid insulation, with modifications, could be used for wetsuit construction, shallow underwater pipeline insulation, or any underwater application where high thermal resistance, flexibility, and resistance to compression are desired.

  5. A blanket design, apparatus, and fabrication techniques for the mass production of multilayer insulation blankets for the Superconducting Super Collider

    SciTech Connect

    Gonczy, J.D.; Boroski, W.N.; Niemann, R.C.; Otavka, J.G.; Ruschman, M.K.; Schoo, C.J.

    1989-09-01

    The multilayer insulation (MLI) system for the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) consists of full cryostat length assemblies of aluminized polyester film fabricated in the form of blankets and installed as blankets to the 4.5K cold mass and the 20K and 80K thermal radiation shields. Approximately 40,000 MLI blankets will be required in the 10,000 cryogenic devices comprising the SSC accelerator. Each blanket is nearly 17 meters long and 1.8 meters wide. This paper reports the blanket design, an apparatus, and the fabrication method used to mass produce pre-fabricated MLI blankets. Incorporated in the blanket design are techniques which automate quality control during installation of the MLI blankets in the SSC cryostat. The apparatus and blanket fabrication method insure consistency in the mass produced blankets by providing positive control of the dimensional parameters which contribute to the thermal performance of the MLI blanket. By virtue of the fabrication process, the MLI blankets have inherent features of dimensional stability three-dimensional uniformity, controlled layer density, layer-to-layer registration, interlayer cleanliness, and interlayer material to accommodate thermal contraction differences. 11 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  6. Monte Carlo Study on Carbon-Gradient-Doped Silica Aerogel Insulation.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Y; Tang, G H

    2015-04-01

    Silica aerogel is almost transparent for wavelengths below 8 µm where significant energy is transferred by thermal radiation. The radiative heat transfer can be restricted at high temperature if doped with carbon powder in silica aerogel. However, different particle sizes of carbon powder doping have different spectral extinction coefficients and the doped carbon powder will increase the solid conduction of silica aerogel. This paper presents a theoretical method for determining the optimal carbon doping in silica aerogel to minimize the energy transfer. Firstly we determine the optimal particle size by combining the spectral extinction coefficient with blackbody radiation and then evaluate the optimal doping amount between heat conduction and radiation. Secondly we develop the Monte Carlo numerical method to study radiative properties of carbon-gradient-doped silica aerogel to decrease the radiative heat transfer further. The results indicate that the carbon powder is able to block infrared radiation and thus improve the thermal insulating performance of silica aerogel effectively. PMID:26353574

  7. Thermal Performance Of Space Suit Elements With Aerogel Insulation For Moon And Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tang, Henry H.; Orndoff, Evelyne S.; Trevino, Luis A.

    2006-01-01

    Flexible fiber-reinforced aerogel composites were studied for use as insulation materials of a future space suit for Moon and Mars exploration. High flexibility and good thermal insulation properties of fiber-reinforced silica aerogel composites at both high and low vacuum conditions make it a promising insulation candidate for the space suit application. This paper first presents the results of a durability (mechanical cycling) study of these aerogels composites in the context of retaining their thermal performance. The study shows that some of these Aerogels materials retained most of their insulation performance after up to 250,000 cycles of mechanical flex cycling. This paper also examines the problem of integrating these flexible aerogel composites into the current space suit elements. Thermal conductivity evaluations are proposed for different types of aerogels space suit elements to identify the lay-up concept that may have the best overall thermal performance for both Moon and Mars environments. Potential solutions in mitigating the silica dusting issue related to the application of these aerogels materials for the space suit elements are also discussed.

  8. Heat insulation performance, mechanics and hydrophobic modification of cellulose-SiO2 composite aerogels.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jianjun; Lu, Lingbin; Guo, Wantao; Zhang, Jingying; Cao, Yang

    2013-10-15

    Cellulose-SiO2 composite hydrogel was prepared by combining the NaOH/thiourea/H2O solvent system and the immersion method with controlling the hydrolysis-fasculation rate of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS). The hydrophobic composite aerogels were obtained through the freeze-drying technology and the cold plasma modification technology. Composite SiO2 could obviously reduce the thermal conductivity of cellulose aerogel. The thermal conductivity could be as low as 0.026 W/(mK). The thermal insulation mechanism of the aerogel material was discussed. Composite SiO2 reduced hydrophilicity of cellulose aerogel, but environmental humidity had a significant influence on heat insulation performance. After hydrophobic modification using CCl4 as plasma was conducted, the surface of composite aerogel was changed from hydrophilic to hydrophobic and water contact angle was as high as 132°. The modified composite aerogel still kept good heat insulation performance. This work provided a foundation for the possibility of applying cellulose-SiO2 composite aerogel in the insulating material field. PMID:23987346

  9. Sorption Properties of Aerogel in Liquid Nitrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Wesley L.

    2006-01-01

    Aerogel products are now available as insulation materials of the future. The Cryogenics Test Laboratory at the NASA Kennedy Space Center is developing aerogel-based thermal insulation systems for space launch applications. Aerogel beads (Cabot Nanogel ) and aerogel blankets (Aspen Aerogels Spaceloft ) have outstanding ambient pressure thermal performance that makes them useful for applications where sealing is not possible. Aerogel beads are open-celled silicone dioxide and have tiny pores that run throughout the body of the bead. It has also recently been discovered that aerogel beads can be used as a filtering device for aqueous compounds at room temperature. With their hydrophobic covering, the beads absorb any non-polar substance and they can be chemically altered to absorb hot gases. The combination of the absorption and cryogenic insulating properties of aerogel beads have never been studied together. For future cryogenic insulation applications, it is crucial to know how the beads react while immersed in cryogenic liquids, most notably liquid nitrogen. Aerogel beads in loose-fill situation and aerogel blankets with composite fiber structure have been tested for absorption properties. Depending on the type of aerogel used and the preparation, preliminary results show the material can absorb up to seven times its own weight of liquid nitrogen, corresponding to a volumetric ratio of 0.70 (unit volume nitrogen per unit volume aerogel). These tests allow for an estimate on how much insulation is needed in certain situations. The theory behind the different processes of sorption is necessary for a better understanding of the preparation of the beads before they are used in an insulation system.

  10. "Flexible aerogel as a superior thermal insulation for high temperature superconductor cable applications"

    SciTech Connect

    White, Shannon O.; Demko, Jonathan A; Tomich, A.

    2010-01-01

    High temperature superconducting (HTS) cables are an advanced technology that can both strengthen and improve the national electrical distribution infrastructure. HTS cables require sufficient cooling to overcome inherent low temperature heat loading. Heat loads are minimized by the use of cryogenic envelopes or cryostats. Cryostats require improvement in efficiency, reliability, and cost reduction to meet the demanding needs of HTS conductors (1G and 2G wires). Aspen Aerogels has developed a compression resistant aerogel thermal insulation package to replace compression sensitive multi-layer insulation (MLI), the incumbent thermal insulation, in flexible cryostats for HTS cables. Oak Ridge National Laboratory tested a prototype aerogel package in a lab-scale pipe apparatus to measure the rate of heat invasion. The lab-scale pipe test results of the aerogel solution will be presented and directly compared to MLI. A compatibility assessment of the aerogel material with HTS system components will also be presented. The aerogel thermal insulation solution presented will meet the demanding needs of HTS cables.

  11. Polyolefin-Based Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Je Kyun; Gould, George

    2012-01-01

    An organic polybutadiene (PB) rubberbased aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection, exhibiting the flexibility, resiliency, toughness, and durability typical of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation properties associated with the aerogels. The rubbery behaviors of the PB rubber-based aerogels are able to overcome the weak and brittle nature of conventional inorganic and organic aerogel insulation materials. Additionally, with higher content of hydrogen in their structure, the PB rubber aerogels will also provide inherently better radiation protection than those of inorganic and carbon aerogels. Since PB rubber aerogels also exhibit good hydrophobicity due to their hydrocarbon molecular structure, they will provide better performance reliability and durability as well as simpler, more economic, and environmentally friendly production over the conventional silica or other inorganic-based aerogels, which require chemical treatment to make them hydrophobic. Inorganic aerogels such as silica aerogels demonstrate many unusual and useful properties. There are several strategies to overcoming the drawbacks associated with the weakness and brittleness of silica aerogels. Development of the flexible fiber-reinforced silica aerogel composite blanket has proven one promising approach, providing a conveniently fielded form factor that is relatively robust toward handling in industrial environments compared to silica aerogel monoliths. However, the flexible silica aerogel composites still have a brittle, dusty character that may be undesirable, or even intolerable, in certain applications. Although the cross-linked organic aerogels such as resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF), polyisocyanurate, and cellulose aerogels show very high impact strength, they are also very brittle with little elongation (i.e., less rubbery). Also, silica and carbon aerogels are less efficient

  12. Aerogels with 3D ordered nanofiber skeletons of liquid-crystalline nanocellulose derivatives as tough and transparent insulators.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Yuri; Saito, Tsuguyuki; Isogai, Akira

    2014-09-22

    Aerogels of high porosity and with a large internal surface area exhibit outstanding performances as thermal, acoustic, or electrical insulators. However, most aerogels are mechanically brittle and optically opaque, and the structural and physical properties of aerogels strongly depend on their densities. The unfavorable characteristics of aerogels are intrinsic to their skeletal structures consisting of randomly interconnected spherical nanoparticles. A structurally new type of aerogel with a three-dimensionally ordered nanofiber skeleton of liquid-crystalline nanocellulose (LC-NCell) is now reported. This LC-NCell material is composed of mechanically strong, surface-carboxylated cellulose nanofibers dispersed in a nematic LC order. The LC-NCell aerogels are transparent and combine mechanical toughness and good insulation properties. These properties of the LC-NCell aerogels could also be readily controlled. PMID:24985785

  13. Prototype Aerogel Insulation for Melamine-Foam Substitute: Critical Space Station Express Rack Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noever, David A.; Sibille, Laurent; Smith, David; Cronise, Raymond

    1998-01-01

    There is a current lack of environmentally acceptable foams to insulate Long-Duration Human Spaceflight Missions, including the experimental Express Rack for the Space Station. A recent 60-day manned test in a sealed chamber at Johnson Space Center (JSC) was nearly aborted, because of persistently high formaldehyde concentrations in the chamber. Subsequent investigation showed that the source was melamine foam (used extensively for acoustic insulation). The thermal and acoustic potential for melamine-foam substitutes is evaluated for scale-up to a silica-based foam and aerogel, which is environmentally benign for long duration space flight. These features will be discussed in reference to an aerogel prototype to: 1) assemble material strength data for various formulated aerogels, both silica and organic carbon aerogels; 2) assemble the aerogel into panels of mylar/vacuum-encapsulated rigid boards which can be molded in various shapes and rigidities; and 3) describe a process for space applications for formaldehyde-free, long duration thermal and acoustic insulators.

  14. Foam/Aerogel Composite Materials for Thermal and Acoustic Insulation and Cryogen Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Martha K. (Inventor); Smith, Trent M. (Inventor); Fesmire, James E. (Inventor); Weiser, Erik S. (Inventor); Sass, Jared P. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    The invention involves composite materials containing a polymer foam and an aerogel. The composite materials have improved thermal insulation ability, good acoustic insulation, and excellent physical mechanical properties. The composite materials can be used, for instance, for heat and acoustic insulation on aircraft, spacecraft, and maritime ships in place of currently used foam panels and other foam products. The materials of the invention can also be used in building construction with their combination of light weight, strength, elasticity, ability to be formed into desired shapes, and superior thermal and acoustic insulation power. The materials have also been found to have utility for storage of cryogens. A cryogenic liquid or gas, such as N.sub.2 or H.sub.2, adsorbs to the surfaces in aerogel particles. Thus, another embodiment of the invention provides a storage vessel for a cryogen.

  15. Foam/aerogel composite materials for thermal and acoustic insulation and cryogen storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Martha K. (Inventor); Smith, Trent M. (Inventor); Fesmire, James E. (Inventor); Weiser, Erik S. (Inventor); Sass, Jared P. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    The invention involves composite materials containing a polymer foam and an aerogel. The composite materials have improved thermal insulation ability, good acoustic insulation, and excellent physical mechanical properties. The composite materials can be used, for instance, for heat and acoustic insulation on aircraft, spacecraft, and maritime ships in place of currently used foam panels and other foam products. The materials of the invention can also be used in building construction with their combination of light weight, strength, elasticity, ability to be formed into desired shapes, and superior thermal and acoustic insulation power. The materials have also been found to have utility for storage of cryogens. A cryogenic liquid or gas, such as N.sub.2 or H.sub.2, adsorbs to the surfaces in aerogel particles. Thus, another embodiment of the invention provides a storage vessel for a cryogen.

  16. Composite, Cryogenic, Conformal, Common Bulkhead, Aerogel-Insulated Tank (CBAT) Materials and Processing Methodologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kovach, Michael P.; Roberts, J. Keith; Finckenor, Jeffrey L.; McMahon, William M.; Clinton, R. G., Jr. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation outlines the current status and future activities of the composite, cryogenic, conformal, common bulkhead, aerogel-insulated tank (CBAT). Each term (composite, cryogenic, conformal, etc.) is explained. The fabrication method for the CBAT is described, including challenges and their solutions. Near term and long term goals are discussed.

  17. Silicon Oxycarbide Aerogels for High-Temperature Thermal Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Owen; Rhine, Wendell; Coutinho, Decio

    2010-01-01

    This work has shown that the use of SOC-A35 leads to aerogel materials containing a significant concentration of carbidic species and limited amorphous free carbon. Substitution of the divalent oxide species in silica with tetravalent carbidic carbon has directly led to materials that exhibit increased network viscosity, reduced sintering, and limited densification. The SiOC aerogels produced in this work have the highest carbide content of any dense or porous SiOC glass reported in the literature at that time, and exhibit tremendous long-term thermal stability.

  18. Polyurea-Based Aerogel Monoliths and Composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Je Kyun

    2012-01-01

    aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection for government and commercial applications. The rubbery polyureabased aerogel exhibits little dustiness, good flexibility and toughness, and durability typical of the parent polyurea polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation properties associated with aerogels. The thermal conductivity values of polyurea-based aerogels at lower temperature under vacuum pressures are very low and better than that of silica aerogels. Flexible, rubbery polyurea-based aerogels are able to overcome the weak and brittle nature of conventional inorganic and organic aerogels, including polyisocyanurate aerogels, which are generally prepared with the one similar component to polyurethane rubber aerogels. Additionally, with higher content of hydrogen in their structures, the polyurea rubber-based aerogels will also provide inherently better radiation protection than those of inorganic and carbon aerogels. The aerogel materials also demonstrate good hydrophobicity due to their hydrocarbon molecular structure. There are several strategies to overcoming the drawbacks associated with the weakness and brittleness of silica aerogels. Development of the flexible fiber-reinforced silica aerogel composite blanket has proven to be one promising approach, providing a conveniently fielded form factor that is relatively robust in industrial environments compared to silica aerogel monoliths. However, the flexible, silica aerogel composites still have a brittle, dusty character that may be undesirable, or even intolerable, in certain application environments. Although the cross - linked organic aerogels, such as resorcinol- formaldehyde (RF), polyisocyanurate, and cellulose aerogels, show very high impact strength, they are also very brittle with little elongation (i.e., less rubbery). Also, silica and carbon aerogels are less efficient radiation shielding materials due

  19. Multi-scale cellulose based new bio-aerogel composites with thermal super-insulating and tunable mechanical properties.

    PubMed

    Seantier, Bastien; Bendahou, Dounia; Bendahou, Abdelkader; Grohens, Yves; Kaddami, Hamid

    2016-03-15

    Bio-composite aerogels based on bleached cellulose fibers (BCF) and cellulose nanoparticles having various morphological and physico-chemical characteristics are prepared by a freeze-drying technique and characterized. The various composite aerogels obtained were compared to a BCF aerogel used as the reference. Severe changes in the material morphology were observed by SEM and AFM due to a variation of the cellulose nanoparticle properties such as the aspect ratio, the crystalline index and the surface charge density. BCF fibers form a 3D network and they are surrounded by the cellulose nanoparticle thin films inducing a significant reduction of the size of the pores in comparison with a neat BCF based aerogel. BET analyses confirm the appearance of a new organization structure with pores of nanometric sizes. As a consequence, a decrease of the thermal conductivities is observed from 28mWm(-1)K(-1) (BCF aerogel) to 23mWm(-1)K(-1) (bio-composite aerogel), which is below the air conductivity (25mWm(-1)K(-1)). This improvement of the insulation properties for composite materials is more pronounced for aerogels based on cellulose nanoparticles having a low crystalline index and high surface charge (NFC-2h). The significant improvement of their insulation properties allows the bio-composite aerogels to enter the super-insulating materials family. The characteristics of cellulose nanoparticles also influence the mechanical properties of the bio-composite aerogels. A significant improvement of the mechanical properties under compression is obtained by self-organization, yielding a multi-scale architecture of the cellulose nanoparticles in the bio-composite aerogels. In this case, the mechanical property is more dependent on the morphology of the composite aerogel rather than the intrinsic characteristics of the cellulose nanoparticles. PMID:26794770

  20. Composite,Cryogenic, Conformal, Common Bulkhead, Aerogel-Insulated Tank (CBAT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, J. K.; Kovach, M. P.; McMahon, W. M.; Finckenor, J. L.

    2001-01-01

    The objective of the Composite, Cryogenic, Conformal, Common Bulkhead, Aerogel-insulated Tank (CBAT) Program is to evaluate the potential for using various new technologies in next generation Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs) through design, fabrication, and testing of a subscale system. The new technologies include polymer matrix composites (PMCs), conformal propellant storage, common bulkhead packaging, and aerogel insulation. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Thiokol Propulsion from Cordant Technologies are working together to develop a design and the processing methodologies which will allow integration of these technologies into a single structural component assembly. Such integration will significantly decrease subsystem weight and reduce shape, volume, and placement restrictions, thereby enhancing overall launch system performance. This paper/presentation focuses on the challenges related to materials and processes that were encountered and overcome during this program to date.

  1. Silica/Polymer and Silica/Polymer/Fiber Composite Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ou, Danny; Stepanian, Christopher J.; Hu, Xiangjun

    2010-01-01

    Aerogels that consist, variously, of neat silica/polymer alloys and silica/polymer alloy matrices reinforced with fibers have been developed as materials for flexible thermal-insulation blankets. In comparison with prior aerogel blankets, these aerogel blankets are more durable and less dusty. These blankets are also better able to resist and recover from compression . an important advantage in that maintenance of thickness is essential to maintenance of high thermal-insulation performance. These blankets are especially suitable as core materials for vacuum- insulated panels and vacuum-insulated boxes of advanced, nearly seamless design. (Inasmuch as heat leakage at seams is much greater than heat leakage elsewhere through such structures, advanced designs for high insulation performance should provide for minimization of the sizes and numbers of seams.) A silica/polymer aerogel of the present type could be characterized, somewhat more precisely, as consisting of multiply bonded, linear polymer reinforcements within a silica aerogel matrix. Thus far, several different polymethacrylates (PMAs) have been incorporated into aerogel networks to increase resistance to crushing and to improve other mechanical properties while minimally affecting thermal conductivity and density. The polymethacrylate phases are strongly linked into the silica aerogel networks in these materials. Unlike in other organic/inorganic blended aerogels, the inorganic and organic phases are chemically bonded to each other, by both covalent and hydrogen bonds. In the process for making a silica/polymer alloy aerogel, the covalent bonds are introduced by prepolymerization of the methacrylate monomer with trimethoxysilylpropylmethacrylate, which serves as a phase cross-linker in that it contains both organic and inorganic monomer functional groups and hence acts as a connector between the organic and inorganic phases. Hydrogen bonds are formed between the silanol groups of the inorganic phase and the

  2. Electrically insulating coatings for V-Li self-cooled blanket in a fusion system

    SciTech Connect

    Natesan, K.; Reed, C. B.; Uz, M.; Park, J. H.; Smith, D. L.

    2000-05-17

    The blanket system is one of the most important components in a fusion reactor because it has a major impact on both the economics and safety of fusion energy. The primary functions of the blanket in a deuterium/tritium-fueled fusion reactor are to convert the fusion energy into sensible heat and to breed tritium for the fuel cycle. The liquid-metal blanket concept requires an electrically insulating coating on the first-wall structural material to minimize the magnetohydrodynamic pressure drop that occurs during the flow of liquid metal in a magnetic field. Based on the thermodynamics of interactions between the coating and the liquid lithium on one side and the structural V-base alloy on the other side, several coating candidates are being examined to perform the insulating function over a wide range of temperatures and lithium chemistries.

  3. Thermal Performance of Composite Flexible Blanket Insulations for Hypersonic Aerospace Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kourtides, Demetrius A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes the thermal performance of a Composite Flexible Blanket Insulation (C.F.B.I.) considered for potential use as a thermal protection system or thermal insulation for future hypersonic vehicles such as the National Aerospace Plane (N.A.S.P.). Thermophysical properties for these insulations were also measured including the thermal conductivity at various temperatures and pressures and the emissivity of the fabrics used in the flexible insulations. The thermal response of these materials subjected to aeroconvective heating from a plasma arc is also described. Materials tested included two surface variations of the insulations, and similar insulations coated with a Protective Ceramic Coating (P.C.C.). Surface and backface temperatures were measured in the flexible insulations and on Fibrous Refractory Composite Insulation (F.R.C.I.) used as a calibration model. The uncoated flexible insulations exhibited good thermal performance up to 35 W/sq cm. The use of a P.C.C. to protect these insulations at higher heating rates is described. The results from a computerized thermal analysis model describing thermal response of those materials subjected to the plasma arc conditions are included. Thermal and optical properties were determined including thermal conductivity for the rigid and flexible insulations and emissivity for the insulation fabrics. These properties were utilized to calculate the thermal performance of the rigid and flexible insulations at the maximum heating rate.

  4. The efficiency of night insulation using aerogel-filled polycarbonate panels during the heating season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adelsberger, Kathleen

    Energy is the basis for modern life. All modern technology from a simple coffee maker to massive industrial facilities is powered by energy. While the demand for energy is increasing, our planet is suffering from the consequences of using fossil fuels to generate electricity. Therefore, the world is looking at clean energy and solar power to minimize this effect on our environment. However, saving energy is extremely important even for clean energy. The more we save the less we have to generate. Heat retention in buildings is one step towards achieving passive heating. Therefore, efforts are made to prevent heat from escaping buildings through the glass during cold nights. Movable insulation is a way to increase the insulation value of the glass to reduce heat loss towards the outdoor. This thesis examines the performance of the aerogel-filled polycarbonate movable panels in the Ecohawks building, a building located on the west campus of The University of Kansas. Onsite tests were performed using air and surface temperature sensors to determine the effectiveness of the system. Computer simulations were run by Therm 7.2 simulation software to explore alternative design options. A cost analysis was also performed to evaluate the feasibility of utilizing movable insulation to reduce the heating bills during winter. Results showed that sealed movable insulation reduces heat loss through the glazing by 67.5%. Replacing aerogel with XPS panels reduces this percentage to 64.3%. However, it reduces the cost of the insulation material by 98%.

  5. Using Aerogel-Based Insulation Material To Prevent Foam Loss on the Liquid-Hydrogen Intertank

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Uninsulated areas on cryogenic propellant tanks and feedlines cause moisture in the air to condense or ice to form. Flange joints, bracket supports, expansion bellows, and other cavities are uninsulated by design. These areas cannot be sealed because conventional thermal insulation materials would restrict mechanical articulations. Aerogel-based thermal insulation systems are able to seal critical locations such as the liquid-oxygen (LO2) feedline bellows. A new thermal insulation system was also necessary between the intertank wall, flange, and the liquid-hydrogen (LH2) tank dome, where there is a cavity (or crevice) with an exposed 20-K surface. When nitrogen gas is used for purging within the intertank volume, it condenses on this cold surface. Some solid nitrogen may also form on the colder side of the crevice. Voids or discontinuities within the foam can pressurize and cause areas of foam to weaken and break off, reducing thermal efficiency and creating potentially dangerous debris. To prevent this foam loss, we developed a thermal insulation system using bulk-fill aerogel material and demonstrated it with a one-tenth-scale model of the LH2 intertank flange area

  6. Thermal blanket insulation for advanced space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusch, Richard H.

    1985-01-01

    The feasibility of weaving Nextel ceramic and Nicalon silicon carbide yarns into integrally woven, three dimensional fluted core fabrics was demonstrated. Parallel face fabrics joined with woven fabric ribs to form triangular cross section flutes between the faces were woven into three single and one double layer configuration. High warp yarn density in the double layer configuration caused considerable yarn breakage during weaving. The flutes of all four fabrics were filled with mandrels made from Q-Fiber Felt and FRCI-20-12 to form candidate insulation panels for advanced Space Transportation Systems. Procedures for preparing and inserting the mandrels were developed. Recommendations are made on investigating alternate methods for filling the flutes with insulation, and for improving the weaving of these types of fabrics.

  7. Development of tailorable advanced blanket insulation for advanced space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calamito, Dominic P.

    1987-01-01

    Two items of Tailorable Advanced Blanket Insulation (TABI) for Advanced Space Transportation Systems were produced. The first consisted of flat panels made from integrally woven, 3-D fluted core having parallel fabric faces and connecting ribs of Nicalon silicon carbide yarns. The triangular cross section of the flutes were filled with mandrels of processed Q-Fiber Felt. Forty panels were prepared with only minimal problems, mostly resulting from the unavailability of insulation with the proper density. Rigidizing the fluted fabric prior to inserting the insulation reduced the production time. The procedures for producing the fabric, insulation mandrels, and TABI panels are described. The second item was an effort to determine the feasibility of producing contoured TABI shapes from gores cut from flat, insulated fluted core panels. Two gores of integrally woven fluted core and single ply fabric (ICAS) were insulated and joined into a large spherical shape employing a tadpole insulator at the mating edges. The fluted core segment of each ICAS consisted of an Astroquartz face fabric and Nicalon face and rib fabrics, while the single ply fabric segment was Nicalon. Further development will be required. The success of fabricating this assembly indicates that this concept may be feasible for certain types of space insulation requirements. The procedures developed for weaving the ICAS, joining the gores, and coating certain areas of the fabrics are presented.

  8. Cryogenic Thermal Performance Testing of Bulk-Fill and Aerogel Insulation Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scholtens, B. E.; Fesmire, J. E.; Sass, J. P.; Augustynowicz, S. D.; Heckle, K. W.

    2007-01-01

    The research testing and demonstration of new bulk-fill materials for cryogenic thermal insulation systems was performed by the Cryogenics Test Laboratory at NASA Kennedy Space Center. Thermal conductivity testing under actual-use cryogenic conditions is a key to understanding the total system performance encompassing engineering, economics, and materials factors. A number of bulk fill insulation materials, including aerogel beads, glass bubbles, and perlite powder, were tested using a new cylindrical cryostat. Boundary temperatures for the liquid nitrogen boil-off method were 293 K and 78 K. Tests were performed as a function of cold vacuum pressure from high vacuum to no vacuum conditions. Results are compared with other complementary test methods in the range of 300 K to 20 K. Various testing techniques are shown to be required to obtain a complete understanding of the operating performance of a material and to provide data for answers to design engineering questions.

  9. Cryogenic Thermal Performance Testing of Bulk-Fill and Aerogel Insulation Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholtens, B. E.; Fesmire, J. E.; Sass, J. P.; Augustynowicz, S. D.; Heckle, K. W.

    2008-03-01

    Thermal conductivity testing under actual-use conditions is a key to understanding how cryogenic thermal insulation systems perform in regard to engineering, economics, and materials factors. The Cryogenics Test Laboratory at NASA's Kennedy Space Center tested a number of bulk-fill insulation materials, including aerogel beads, glass bubbles, and perlite powder, using a new cylindrical cryostat. Boundary temperatures for the liquid nitrogen boiloff method were 78 K and 293 K. Tests were performed as a function of cold vacuum pressure under conditions ranging from high vacuum to no vacuum. Results were compared with those from complementary test methods in the range of 20 K to 300 K. Various testing techniques are required to completely understand the operating performance of a material and to provide data for answers to design engineering questions.

  10. Development of electrically insulating coatings on vanadium alloys for lithium-cooled blankets

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, D.L.; Natesan, K.; Park, J.H.; Mattas, R.; Reed, C.

    1997-10-01

    The self-cooled lithium blanket concept with a vanadium structure offers a potential for high performance with attractive safety and environmental features. Based on blanket design studies, it became apparent that electrically insulating duct walls would be required to reduce the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) pressure drop for liquid metal-cooled blankets for high magnetic field fusion devices. As a result, development of insulator coatings was recommended as the most appropriate approach for resolving this issue. Oxides such as CaO, Y{sub 2}O{sub 3}, BeO, MgO, MgAl{sub 2}O{sub 4}, and Y{sub 3}Al{sub 2}O{sub 12} and nitrides such as AlN, BN and Si{sub 3}N{sub 2} were initially considered potential candidate coating materials. Based on results of scoping studies, CaO and AlN have been selected as primary candidates for further development. Progress on the development of CaO and AlN coatings, including in-situ formation and electrical properties measurements, are summarized in this paper.

  11. Hybrid aerogel rigid ceramic fiber insulation and method of producing same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barney, Andrea O. (Inventor); Heng, Vann (Inventor); Oka, Kris Shigeko (Inventor); Santos, Maryann (Inventor); Zinn, Alfred A. (Inventor); Droege, Michael (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A hybrid insulation material comprises of porous ceramic substrate material impregnated with nanoporous material and method of making the same is the topic of this invention. The porous substrate material has bulk density ranging from 6 to 20 lb/ft.sup.3 and is composed of about 60 to 80 wt % silica (SiO.sub.2) 20 to 40 wt % alumina (Al.sub.2 O.sub.3) fibers, and with about 0.1 to 1.0 wt % boron-containing constituent as the sintering agent. The nanoporous material has density ranging from 1.0 to 10 lb/ft.sup.3 and is either fully or partially impregnated into the substrate to block the pores, resulting in substantial reduction in conduction via radiation and convention. The nanoporous material used to impregnate the fiber substrate is preferably formed from a precursor of alkoxysilane, alcohol, water, and an acid or base catalyst for silica aerogels, and from a precursor of aluminum alkoxide, alcohol, water, and an acid or base catalyst for alumina aerogels.

  12. Cellulose as an adhesion agent for the synthesis of lignin aerogel with strong mechanical performance, Sound-absorption and thermal Insulation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chao; Xiong, Ye; Fan, Bitao; Yao, Qiufang; Wang, Hanwei; Jin, Chunde; Sun, Qingfeng

    2016-01-01

    The lignin aerogels that are both high porosity and compressibility would have promising implications for bioengineering field to sound-adsorption and damping materials; however, creating this aerogel had a challenge to adhesive lignin. Here we reported cellulose as green adhesion agent to synthesize the aerogels with strong mechanical performance. Our approach-straightforwardly dissolved in ionic liquids and simply regenerated in the deionized water-causes assembly of micro-and nanoscale and even molecule level of cellulose and lignin. The resulting lignin aerogels exhibit Young's modulus up to 25.1 MPa, high-efficiency sound-adsorption and excellent thermal insulativity. The successful synthesis of this aerogels developed a path for lignin to an advanced utilization. PMID:27562532

  13. Aerogel nanocomposite materials

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, A.J.; Ayers, M.; Cao, W.

    1995-05-01

    Aerogels are porous, low density, nanostructured solids with many unusual properties including very low thermal conductivity, good transparency, high surface area, catalytic activity, and low sound velocity. This research is directed toward developing new nanocomposite aerogel materials for improved thermal insulation and several other applications. A major focus of the research has been to further increase the thermal resistance of silica aerogel by introducing infrared opacification agents into the aerogel to produce a superinsulating composite material. Opacified superinsulating aerogel permit a number of industrial applications for aerogel-based insulation. The primary benefits from this recently developed superinsulating composite aerogel insulation are: to extend the range of applications to higher temperatures, to provide a more compact insulation for space sensitive-applications, and to lower costs of aerogel by as much as 30%. Superinsulating aerogels can replace existing CFC-containing polyurethane in low temperature applications to reduce heat losses in piping, improve the thermal efficiency of refrigeration systems, and reduce energy losses in a variety of industrial applications. Enhanced aerogel insulation can also replace steam and process pipe insulation in higher temperature applications to substantially reduce energy losses and provide much more compact insulation.

  14. Analyses of Hubble Space Telescope Aluminized-Teflon Multilayer Insulation Blankets Retrieved After 19 Years of Space Exposure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    de Groh, Kim K.; Perry, Bruce A.; Mohammed, Jelila S.; Banks, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Since its launch in April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has made many important observations from its vantage point in low Earth orbit (LEO). However, as seen during five servicing missions, the outer layer of multilayer insulation (MLI) has become increasingly embrittled and has cracked in many areas. In May 2009, during the 5th servicing mission (called SM4), two MLI blankets were replaced with new insulation and the space-exposed MLI blankets were retrieved for degradation analyses by teams at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The retrieved MLI blankets were from Equipment Bay 8, which received direct sunlight, and Equipment Bay 5, which received grazing sunlight. Each blanket was divided into several regions based on environmental exposure and/or physical appearance. The aluminized-Teflon (DuPont, Wilmington, DE) fluorinated ethylene propylene (Al-FEP) outer layers of the retrieved MLI blankets have been analyzed for changes in optical, physical, and mechanical properties, along with chemical and morphological changes. Pristine and as-retrieved samples (materials) were heat treated to help understand degradation mechanisms. When compared to pristine material, the analyses have shown how the Al-FEP was severely affected by the space environment. Most notably, the Al-FEP was highly embrittled, fracturing like glass at strains of 1 to 8 percent. Across all measured properties, more significant degradation was observed for Bay 8 material as compared to Bay 5 material. This paper reviews the tensile and bend-test properties, density, thickness, solar absorptance, thermal emittance, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) elemental composition measurements, surface and crack morphologies, and atomic oxygen erosion yields of the Al-FEP outer layer of the retrieved HST blankets after 19 years of space exposure.

  15. Ambient Dried Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Steven M.; Paik, Jong-Ah

    2013-01-01

    A method has been developed for creating aerogel using normal pressure and ambient temperatures. All spacecraft, satellites, and landers require the use of thermal insulation due to the extreme environments encountered in space and on extraterrestrial bodies. Ambient dried aerogels introduce the possibility of using aerogel as thermal insulation in a wide variety of instances where supercritically dried aerogels cannot be used. More specifically, thermoelectric devices can use ambient dried aerogel, where the advantages are in situ production using the cast-in ability of an aerogel. Previously, aerogels required supercritical conditions (high temperature and high pressure) to be dried. Ambient dried aerogels can be dried at room temperature and pressure. This allows many materials, such as plastics and certain metal alloys that cannot survive supercritical conditions, to be directly immersed in liquid aerogel precursor and then encapsulated in the final, dried aerogel. Additionally, the metalized Mylar films that could not survive the previous methods of making aerogels can survive the ambient drying technique, thus making multilayer insulation (MLI) materials possible. This results in lighter insulation material as well. Because this innovation does not require high-temperature or high-pressure drying, ambient dried aerogels are much less expensive to produce. The equipment needed to conduct supercritical drying costs many tens of thousands of dollars, and has associated running expenses for power, pressurized gasses, and maintenance. The ambient drying process also expands the size of the pieces of aerogel that can be made because a high-temperature, high-pressure system typically has internal dimensions of up to 30 cm in diameter and 60 cm in height. In the case of this innovation, the only limitation on the size of the aerogels produced would be in the ability of the solvent in the wet gel to escape from the gel network.

  16. THERMAL INSULATION PROPERTIES OF NONWOVEN SEMI-DISPOSABLE BLANKETS FROM RECYCLED POLYESTER/COTTON FIBERS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recycled polyester fibers and cotton fibers that require no chemical processing were used to produce a low-cost, semi-durable, nonwoven thermal blanket. Thermal blankets were given carboxylic acid finish to improve structural stability during use and laundering. A Steady-State Heat Flow meter FOX ...

  17. Technical applications of aerogels

    SciTech Connect

    Hrubesh, L.W.

    1997-08-18

    Aerogel materials posses such a wide variety of exceptional properties that a striking number of applications have developed for them. Many of the commercial applications of aerogels such as catalysts, thermal insulation, windows, and particle detectors are still under development and new application as have been publicized since the ISA4 Conference in 1994: e.g.; supercapacitors, insulation for heat storage in automobiles, electrodes for capacitive deionization, etc. More applications are evolving as the scientific and engineering community becomes familiar with the unusual and exceptional physical properties of aerogels, there are also scientific and technical application, as well. This paper discusses a variety of applications under development at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for which several types of aerogels are formed in custom sizes and shapes. Particular discussions will focus on the uses of aerogels for physics experiments which rely on the exceptional, sometimes unique, properties of aerogels.

  18. Comparative Investigation on Thermal Insulation of Polyurethane Composites Filled with Silica Aerogel and Hollow Silica Microsphere.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chunyuan; Kim, Jin Seuk; Kwon, Younghwan

    2016-02-01

    This paper presents a comparative study on thermal conductivity of PU composites containing open-cell nano-porous silica aerogel and closed-cell hollow silica microsphere, respectively. The thermal conductivity of PU composites is measured at 30 degrees C with transient hot bridge method. The insertion of polymer in pores of silica aerogel creates mixed interfaces, increasing the thermal conductivity of resulting composites. The measured thermal conductivity of PU composites filled with hollow silica microspheres is estimated using theoretical models, and is in good agreement with Felske model. It appears that the thermal conductivity of composites decreases with increasing the volume fraction (phi) when hollow silica microsphere (eta = 0.916) is used. PMID:27433652

  19. Compression molding of aerogel microspheres

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, R.W.; Hrubesh, L.W.

    1998-03-24

    An aerogel composite material produced by compression molding of aerogel microspheres (powders) mixed together with a small percentage of polymer binder to form monolithic shapes in a cost-effective manner is disclosed. The aerogel composites are formed by mixing aerogel microspheres with a polymer binder, placing the mixture in a mold and heating under pressure, which results in a composite with a density of 50--800 kg/m{sup 3} (0.05--0.80 g/cc). The thermal conductivity of the thus formed aerogel composite is below that of air, but higher than the thermal conductivity of monolithic aerogels. The resulting aerogel composites are attractive for applications such as thermal insulation since fabrication thereof does not require large and expensive processing equipment. In addition to thermal insulation, the aerogel composites may be utilized for filtration, ICF target, double layer capacitors, and capacitive deionization. 4 figs.

  20. Compression molding of aerogel microspheres

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, Richard W.; Hrubesh, Lawrence W.

    1998-03-24

    An aerogel composite material produced by compression molding of aerogel microspheres (powders) mixed together with a small percentage of polymer binder to form monolithic shapes in a cost-effective manner. The aerogel composites are formed by mixing aerogel microspheres with a polymer binder, placing the mixture in a mold and heating under pressure, which results in a composite with a density of 50-800 kg/m.sup.3 (0.05-0.80 g/cc). The thermal conductivity of the thus formed aerogel composite is below that of air, but higher than the thermal conductivity of monolithic aerogels. The resulting aerogel composites are attractive for applications such as thermal insulation since fabrication thereof does not require large and expensive processing equipment. In addition to thermal insulation, the aerogel composites may be utilized for filtration, ICF target, double layer capacitors, and capacitive deionization.

  1. Thermal properties of organic and modified inorganic aerogels

    SciTech Connect

    Pekala, R.W.; Hrubesh, L.W.

    1992-08-01

    Aerogels are open-cell foams that have already been shown to be among the best thermal insulating solid materials known. Improvements in the thermal insulating properties of aerogels are possible by synthesizing new organic varieties, by using additives within existing aerogel matrix, and by optimizing their nanostructures. We discuss these approaches and give some examples of aerogels which demonstrate the improvements.

  2. CaO insulator and Be intermetallic coatings on V-base alloys for liquid-lithium fusion blanket applications

    SciTech Connect

    Park, J.H.; Kassner, T.F.

    1996-04-01

    The objective of this study is to develop (a) stable CaO insulator coatings at the Liquid-Li/structural-material interface, with emphasis on electrically insulating coating that prevent adverse MHD-generated currents from passing through the V-alloy wall, and (b) stable Be-V intermetallic coating for first-wall components that face the plasma. Electrically insulating and corrosion-resistant coatings are required at the liquid-Li/structural interface in fusion first-wall/blanket application. The electrical resistance of CaO coatings produced on oxygen-enriched surface layers of V-5%Cr-5%Ti by exposing the alloy to liquid Li that contained 0.5-85 wt% dissolved Ca was measured as a function of time at temperatures between 250 and 600{degrees}C. Crack-free Be{sub 2}V intermetallic coatings were also produced by exposing V-alloys to liquid Li that contained Be as a solute. These techniques can be applied to various shapes (e.g., inside/outside of tubes, complex geometrical shapes) because the coatings are formed by liquid-phase reactions.

  3. Beta cloth durability assessment for Space Station Freedom (SSF) Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) blanket covers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koontz, Steven L.; Jacobs, Stephen; Le, Julie

    1993-01-01

    MLI blankets for the Space Station Freedom (SSF) must comply with general program requirements and recommendations for long life and durability in the low-Earth orbit (LEO) environment. Atomic oxygen and solar ultraviolet/vacuum ultraviolet are the most important factors in the SSF natural environment which affect materials life. Two types of Beta cloth (Teflon coated woven glass fabric), which had been proposed as MLI blanket covers, were tested for long-term durability in the LEO environment. General resistance to atomic oxygen attack and permeation were evaluated in the high velocity atomic oxygen beam system at Los Alamos National Laboratories. Long-term exposure to the LEO environment was simulated in the laboratory using a radio frequency oxygen plasma asher. The plasma asher treated Beta cloth specimens were tested for thermo-optical properties and mechanical durability. Space exposure data from the Long Duration Exposure Facility and the Intelsat Solar Array Coupon were also used in the durability assessment. Beta cloth fabricated to Rockwell specification MBO 135-027 (Chemglas 250) was shown to have acceptable durability for general use as an MLI blanket cover material in the LEO environment while Sheldahl G414500 should be used only in locations which are protected from direct Ram atomic oxygen.

  4. Advanced Aerogel Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Steven

    2013-01-01

    The JPL Aerogel Laboratory has made aerogels for NASA flight missions, e.g., Stardust, 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers and the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory, as well as NASA research projects for the past 14 years. During that time it has produced aerogels of a range of shapes, sizes, densities and compositions. Research is ongoing in the development of aerogels for future sample capture and return missions and for thermal insulation for both spacecraft and scientific instruments. For the past several years, the JPL Aerogel Laboratory has been developing, producing and testing a new composite material for use as the high temperature thermal insulation in the Advanced Sterling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) being developed by Lockheed Martin and NASA. The composite is made up of a glass fiber felt, silica aerogel, Titania powder, and silica powder. The oxide powders are included to reduce irradiative heat transport at elevated temperatures. These materials have thermal conductivity values that are the same as the best commercially produced high temperature insulation materials, and yet are 40% lighter. By greatly reducing the amount of oxide powder in the composite, the density, and therefore for the value of the thermal conductivity, would be reduced. The JPL Aerogel Laboratory has experimented with using glass fiber felt, expanded glass fiber felt and loose fibers to add structural integrity to silica aerogels. However, this work has been directed toward high temperature applications. By conducting a brief investigation of the optimal combination of fiber reinforcement and aerogel density, a durable, extremely efficient thermal insulation material for ambient temperature applications would be produced. If a transparent thermal insulation is desired, then aerogel is an excellent candidate material. At typical ambient temperatures, silica aerogel prevents the transport of heat via convection and conduction due to its highly porous nature. To prevent irradiative thermal

  5. Nano insulating materials and energy retrofit of buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casini, Marco

    2016-06-01

    The article offers an analysis of the use of nanotechnological insulation materials (NIMs) for energy upgrading of buildings, illustrating the possibility of their integration into the building envelope and the benefits achievable in terms of architectural quality, comfort and energy saving, within the new framework of European legislation aimed at achieving Zero energy buildings. Particular reference is given to Fibre Reinforced Aerogel Blankets for the building envelope, especially interesting for their wide possible applications even combined with phase change materials.

  6. System and method for suppressing sublimation using opacified aerogel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeff S. (Inventor); Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Calliat, Thierry (Inventor); Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Jones, Steven M. (Inventor); Palk, Jong-Ah (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    The present invention relates to a castable, aerogel-based, ultra-low thermal conductivity opacified insulation to suppress sublimation. More specifically, the present invention relates to an aerogel opacified with various opacifying or reflecting constituents to suppress sublimation and provide thermal insulation in thermoelectric modules. The opacifying constituent can be graded within the aerogel for increased sublimation suppression, and the density of the aerogel can similarly be graded to achieve optimal thermal insulation and sublimation suppression.

  7. Aerogels for electronics

    SciTech Connect

    Hrubesh, L.W.

    1994-10-01

    In addition to their other exceptional properties, aerogels also exhibit unusual dielectric and electronic properties due to their nano-sized structures and high porosities. For example, aerogels have the lowest dielectric constants measured for a solid material (having values approaching 1.0); they have exceptionally high dielectric resistivities and strengths (i.e., ability to insulate very high voltages); they exhibit low dielectric loss at microwave frequencies; and some aerogels are electrically conductive and photoconductive. These properties are being exploited to provide the next generation of materials for energy storage, low power consumption, and ultra-fast electronics. We are working toward adapting these unusual materials for microelectronic applications, particularly, making thin aerogel films for dielectric substrates and for energy storage devices such as supercapacitors. Measurements are presented in this paper for the dielectric and electronic properties of aerogels, including the dielectric constant, loss factor, dielectric and electrical conductivity, volume resistivity, and dielectric strength. We also describe methods to form and characterize thin aerogel films which are being developed for numerous electronic applications. Finally, some of the electronic applications proposed for aerogels are presented. Commercialization of aerogels for electronics must await further feasibility, prototype development, and cost studies, but they are one of the key materials and are sure to have a major impact on future electronics.

  8. Aerogel/polymer composite materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Martha K. (Inventor); Smith, Trent M. (Inventor); Fesmire, James E. (Inventor); Roberson, Luke B. (Inventor); Clayton, LaNetra M. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    The invention provides new composite materials containing aerogels blended with thermoplastic polymer materials at a weight ratio of aerogel to thermoplastic polymer of less than 20:100. The composite materials have improved thermal insulation ability. The composite materials also have better flexibility and less brittleness at low temperatures than the parent thermoplastic polymer materials.

  9. Improvements to the Synthesis of Polyimide Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Nguyen, Baochau N.; Guo, Haiquan; Vivod, Stephanie; He, Zuhui; Malow, Ericka; Silva, Rebecca

    2011-01-01

    Cross-linked polyimide aerogels are viable approach to higher temperature, flexible insulation for inflatable decelerators. Results indicate that the all-polyimide aerogels are as strong or stronger than polymer reinforced silica aerogels at the same density. Currently, examining use of carbon nanofiber and clay nanoparticles to improve performance. Flexible, polyimide aerogels have potential utility in other applications such as space suits, habitats, shelter applications, etc. where low dusting is desired

  10. Mechanically Strong, Polymer Cross-linked Aerogels (X-Aerogels)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leventis, Nicholas

    2006-01-01

    Aerogels comprise a class of low-density, high porous solid objects consisting of dimensionally quasi-stable self-supported three-dimensional assemblies of nanoparticles. Aerogels are pursued because of properties above and beyond those of the individual nanoparticles, including low thermal conductivity, low dielectric constant and high acoustic impedance. Possible applications include thermal and vibration insulation, dielectrics for fast electronics, and hosting of functional guests for a wide variety of optical, chemical and electronic applications. Aerogels, however, are extremely fragile materials, hence they have found only limited application in some very specialized environments, for example as Cerenkov radiation detectors in certain types of nuclear reactors, aboard spacecraft as collectors of hypervelocity particles (refer to NASA's Stardust program) and as thermal insulators on planetary vehicles on Mars (refer to Sojourner Rover in 1997 and Spirit and Opportunity in 2004). Along these lines, the X-Aerogel is a new NASA-developed strong lightweight material that has resolved the fragility problem of traditional (native) aerogels. X-Aerogels are made by applying a conformal polymer coating on the surfaces of the skeletal nanoparticles of native aerogels (see Scanning Electron Micrographs). Since the relative amounts of the polymeric crosslinker and the backbone are comparable, X-Aerogels can be viewed either as aerogels modified by the templated accumulation of polymer on the skeletal nanoparticles, or as nanoporous polymers made by remplated casting of polymer on a nanostructured framework. The most striking feature of X-Aerogels is that for a nominal 3-fold increase in density (still a ultralighweight material), the mechanical strength can be up to 300 times higher than the strength of the underlying native aerogel. Thus, X-Aerogels combine a multiple of the specific compressive strength of steel, with the the thermal conductivity of styrofoam. X-Aerogels

  11. Epoxy Crosslinked Silica Aerogels (X-Aerogels)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    fabrizio, Eve; Ilhan, Faysal; Meador, Mary Ann; Johnston, Chris; Leventis, Nicholas

    2004-01-01

    NASA is interested in the development of strong lightweight materials for the dual role of thermal insulator and structural component for space vehicles; freeing more weight for useful payloads. Aerogels are very-low density materials (0.010 to 0.5 g/cc) that, due to high porosity (meso- and microporosity), can be, depending on the chemical nature of the network, ideal thermal insulators (thermal conductivity approx. 15 mW/mK). However, aerogels are extremely fragile. For practical application of aerogels, one must increase strength without compromising the physical properties attributed to low density. This has been achieved by templated growth of an epoxy polymer layer that crosslinks the "pearl necklace" network of nanoparticles: the framework of a typical silica aerogel. The requirement for conformal accumulation of the epoxy crosslinker is reaction both with the surface of silica and with itself. After cross-linking, the strength of a typical aerogel monolith increases by a factor of 200, in the expense of only a 2-fold increase in density. Strength is increased further by coupling residual unreacted epoxides with diamine.

  12. Studying the Properties of Aerogel at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Scientists at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have been studying the properties of Aerogel for several years. Aerogel, the lightest solid known to man, has displayed a high quality for insulation. Because of its smoky countenance, it has yet to be used as an insulation on windows, but has been used in the space program on the rover Sojourner, and has been used as insulation in the walls of houses and in automobile engine compartments. As heat is applied to Aerogel, scientist Dr. David Noever of Space Sciences Laboratory, Principal Investigator of Aerogel, studies for its properties trying to uncover the secret to making Aerogel a clear substance. Once found, Aerogel will be a major component in the future of glass insulation.

  13. Development of electrical insulator coatings for liquid-metal blanket applications

    SciTech Connect

    Park, J.H.; Fox, M.R.; Dragel, G.

    1992-12-31

    Based on a preliminary survey of more than 15 oxides and nitrides, four ceramic materials (CaO, MgO, Y{sup 2}O{sup 3}, and BN) were identified as candidates for insulator coating development. These compounds were fabricated by various techniques and exposed to flowing Li at 400-410{degrees} to assess chemical compatibility. Yttrium oxide exhibited excellent corrosion resistance in flowing liquid Li at 400{degrees}C; its corrosion rate was calculated to be 0.042 {mu}m/hr. Resistivity measurements by a standard four-probe method on Y{sup 2}O{sup 3} in air at temperatures between {approximately}450 and 1000{degrees}C, before and after exposure to Li for 675 h at 410{degrees}C, indicated no deterioration in resistivity. The resistivity of in-situ-formed (V,Ti){sup x}N reaction-product layers on V-20Ti and TiN on Ti was determined at room temperature and 80{degrees}C by a two-probe method. The resistivity of the film on the V-20Ti alloy was low ({approximately}20 {Omega}m) and the film on Ti exhibited metallic conduction. Adhesion bonding between Y{sup 2}O{sup 3} and Y, V, Ti, Y, V-20Ti, V-3Ti-1Si, and Types 304 and 316 stainless steel was investigated in reducing and oxidizing gaseous environments at 927{degrees}C. Except for the V-20Ti alloy, the V-base alloys, Ti, and Type 304 stainless steel were well bonded to Y{sup 2}O{sup 3} in the reducing atmosphere. In the oxidizing atmosphere, bond regions of Types 304 and 316 stainless steel were better than in the reducing atmosphere because of reaction between the oxide scale on the steels (Cr{sup 2}O{sup 3}) and Y{sup 2}O{sup 3} to form YCrO{sup 3}. Neither V, Ti, nor the V-alloys bonded with Y{sup 2}O{sup 3}. These results suggest that a low-melting eutectic layer forms between Y{sup 2}O{sup 3} and the oxides layers present on V, Ti, and V-alloys.

  14. Mechanical Properties of Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parmenter, Kelly E.; Milstein, Frederick

    1995-01-01

    Aerogels are extremely low density solids that are characterized by a high porosity and pore sizes on the order of nanometers. Their low thermal conductivity and sometimes transparent appearance make them desirable for applications such as insulation in cryogenic vessels and between double paned glass in solar architecture. An understanding of the mechanical properties of aerogels is necessary before aerogels can be used in load bearing applications. In the present study, the mechanical behavior of various types of fiber-reinforced silica aerogels was investigated with hardness, compression, tension and shear tests. Particular attention was paid to the effects of processing parameters, testing conditions, storage environment, and age on the aerogels' mechanical response. The results indicate that the addition of fibers to the aerogel matrix generally resulted in softer, weaker materials with smaller elastic moduli. Furthermore, the testing environment significantly affected compression results. Tests in ethanol show an appreciable amount of scatter, and are not consistent with results for tests in air. In fact, the compression specimens appeared to crack and begin to dissolve upon exposure to the ethanol solution. This is consistent with the inherent hydrophobic nature of these aerogels. In addition, the aging process affected the aerogels' mechanical behavior by increasing their compressive strength and elastic moduli while decreasing their strain at fracture. However, desiccation of the specimens did not appreciably affect the mechanical properties, even though it reduced the aerogel density by removing trapped moisture. Finally, tension and shear test results indicate that the shear strength of the aerogels exceeds the tensile strength. This is consistent with the response of brittle materials. Future work should concentrate on mechanical testing at cryogenic temperatures, and should involve more extensive tensile tests. Moreover, before the mechanical response

  15. Aerogel: Tile Composites Toughen a Brittle Superinsulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Susan; Rasky, Daniel; Arnold, James O. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Pure aerogels, though familiar in the laboratory for decades as exotic lightweight insulators with unusual physical properties, have had limited industrial applications due to their low strength and high brittleness. Composites formed of aerogels and the ceramic fiber matrices like those used as space shuttle tiles bypass the fragility of pure aerogels and can enhance the performance of space shuttle tiles in their harsh operating environment. Using a layer of aerogel embedded in a tile may open up a wide range of applications where thermal insulation, gas convection control and mechanical strength matter.

  16. Design Tool for Cryogenic Thermal Insulation Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Demko, Jonathan A; Fesmire, J. E.; Augustynowicz, S. D.

    2008-01-01

    Thermal isolation of low-temperature systems from ambient environments is a constant issue faced by practitioners of cryogenics. For energy-efficient systems and processes to be realized, thermal insulation must be considered as an integrated system, not merely an add-on element. A design tool to determine the performance of insulation systems for comparative trade-off studies of different available material options was developed. The approach is to apply thermal analysis to standard shapes (plane walls, cylinders, spheres) that are relatively simple to characterize with a one-dimensional analytical or numerical model. The user describes the system hot and cold boundary geometry and the operating environment. Basic outputs such as heat load and temperature profiles are determined. The user can select from a built-in insulation material database or input user defined materials. Existing information has been combined with the new experimental thermal conductivity data produced by the Cryogenics Test Laboratory for cryogenic and vacuum environments, including high vacuum, soft vacuum, and no vacuum. Materials in the design tool include multilayer insulation, aerogel blankets, aerogel bulk-fill, foams, powders, composites, and other insulation system constructions. A comparison of the design tool to a specific composite thermal insulation system is given.

  17. Composite Aerogel Multifoil Protective Shielding

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Steven M.

    2013-01-01

    New technologies are needed to survive the temperatures, radiation, and hypervelocity particles that exploration spacecraft encounter. Multilayer insulations (MLIs) have been used on many spacecraft as thermal insulation. Other materials and composites have been used as micrometeorite shielding or radiation shielding. However, no material composite has been developed and employed as a combined thermal insulation, micrometeorite, and radiation shielding. By replacing the scrims that have been used to separate the foil layers in MLIs with various aerogels, and by using a variety of different metal foils, the overall protective performance of MLIs can be greatly expanded to act as thermal insulation, radiation shielding, and hypervelocity particle shielding. Aerogels are highly porous, low-density solids that are produced by the gelation of metal alkoxides and supercritical drying. Aerogels have been flown in NASA missions as a hypervelocity particle capture medium (Stardust) and as thermal insulation (2003 MER). Composite aerogel multifoil protective shielding would be used to provide thermal insulation, while also shielding spacecraft or components from radiation and hypervelocity particle impacts. Multiple layers of foil separated by aerogel would act as a thermal barrier by preventing the transport of heat energy through the composite. The silica aerogel would act as a convective and conductive thermal barrier, while the titania powder and metal foils would absorb and reflect the radiative heat. It would also capture small hypervelocity particles, such as micrometeorites, since it would be a stuffed, multi-shock Whipple shield. The metal foil layers would slow and break up the impacting particles, while the aerogel layers would convert the kinetic energy of the particles to thermal and mechanical energy and stop the particles.

  18. Protective Skins for Aerogel Monoliths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leventis, Nicholas; Johnston, James C.; Kuczmarski, Maria A.; Meador, Ann B.

    2007-01-01

    A method of imparting relatively hard protective outer skins to aerogel monoliths has been developed. Even more than aerogel beads, aerogel monoliths are attractive as thermal-insulation materials, but the commercial utilization of aerogel monoliths in thermal-insulation panels has been inhibited by their fragility and the consequent difficulty of handling them. Therefore, there is a need to afford sufficient protection to aerogel monoliths to facilitate handling, without compromising the attractive bulk properties (low density, high porosity, low thermal conductivity, high surface area, and low permittivity) of aerogel materials. The present method was devised to satisfy this need. The essence of the present method is to coat an aerogel monolith with an outer polymeric skin, by painting or spraying. Apparently, the reason spraying and painting were not attempted until now is that it is well known in the aerogel industry that aerogels collapse in contact with liquids. In the present method, one prevents such collapse through the proper choice of coating liquid and process conditions: In particular, one uses a viscous polymer precursor liquid and (a) carefully controls the amount of liquid applied and/or (b) causes the liquid to become cured to the desired hard polymeric layer rapidly enough that there is not sufficient time for the liquid to percolate into the aerogel bulk. The method has been demonstrated by use of isocyanates, which, upon exposure to atmospheric moisture, become cured to polyurethane/polyurea-type coats. The method has also been demonstrated by use of commercial epoxy resins. The method could also be implemented by use of a variety of other resins, including polyimide precursors (for forming high-temperature-resistant protective skins) or perfluorinated monomers (for forming coats that impart hydrophobicity and some increase in strength).

  19. Aerogel Composites: Strong and Waterproof

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Susan; Hsu, Ming-ta; Arnold, James O. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Aerogels are exotic materials having superior thermal and physical properties with great potential for both space and industrial uses. Although aerogels are excellent low-density insulators with unique acoustic and optical properties, their commercialization potential is currently limited by moisture absorption, fragility, and cost. This paper describes useful, easily scaled-up solutions to the first two of these three problems. The waterproofing and water-repellent method described here is a cheaper and simpler improvement over previous permanent methods.

  20. Coated Aerogel Beads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Littman, Howard (Inventor); Plawsky, Joel L. (Inventor); Paccione, John D. (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    Methods and apparatus for coating particulate material are provided. The apparatus includes a vessel having a top and a bottom, a vertically extending conduit having an inlet in the vessel and an outlet outside of the vessel, a first fluid inlet in the bottom of the vessel for introducing a transfer fluid, a second fluid inlet in the bottom of the vessel for introducing a coating fluid, and a fluid outlet from the vessel. The method includes steps of agitating a material, contacting the material with a coating material, and drying the coating material to produce a coated material. The invention may be adapted to coat aerogel beads, among other materials. A coated aerogel bead and an aerogel-based insulation material are also disclosed.

  1. Material Properties for Fiber-Reinforced Silica Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Susan; Rouanet, Stephane; Moses, John; Arnold, James O. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Ceramic fiber-reinforced silica aerogels are novel materials for high performance insulation, including thermal protection materials. Experimental data are presented for the thermal and mechanical properties, showing the trends exhibited over a range of fiber loadings and silica aerogel densities. Test results are compared to that of unreinforced bulk aerogels.

  2. Aerogel waveplates.

    PubMed

    Bhupathi, Pradeep; Hwang, Jungseek; Martin, Rodica M; Blankstein, Jackson; Jaworski, Lukas; Mulders, Norbert; Tanner, David B; Lee, Yoonseok

    2009-06-22

    Optical transmission measurements were made on 98% porosity silica aerogel samples under various degrees of uniaxial strain. Uniaxially compressed aerogels exhibit large birefringence, proportional to the amount of compression, up to the 15% strain studied. The birefringence is mostly reversible and reproducible through multiple compression-decompression cycles. Our study demonstrates that uniaxially strained high porosity aerogels can be used as tunable waveplates in a broad spectral range. PMID:19550455

  3. Graphene aerogels

    DOEpatents

    Pauzauskie, Peter J; Worsley, Marcus A; Baumann, Theodore F; Satcher, Jr., Joe H; Biener, Juergen

    2015-03-31

    Graphene aerogels with high conductivity and surface areas including a method for making a graphene aerogel, including the following steps: (1) preparing a reaction mixture comprising a graphene oxide suspension and at least one catalyst; (2) curing the reaction mixture to produce a wet gel; (3) drying the wet gel to produce a dry gel; and (4) pyrolyzing the dry gel to produce a graphene aerogel. Applications include electrical energy storage including batteries and supercapacitors.

  4. Aerogel Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sahai, Rashmi K.

    2005-01-01

    Aerogel is one of the most promising materials of the future. It's unique properties, including high porosity, transparency, very high thermal tolerance, and environmental friendliness give it the potential of replacing many different products used in society today. However, the market for aerogel is still very limited because of the cost of producing the material and its fragility. The principle objective of my project has been to find new ways to apply aerogel in order to increase its practicality and appeal to different aspects of society. More specifically, I have focused on finding different chemicals that will coat aerogel and increase its durability. Because aerogel is so fragile and will crumble under the pressure of most coatings this has been no easy task. However, by experimenting with many different coatings and combinations of aerogel properties, I have made several significant discoveries. Aerogel (ideally, high density and hydrophobic) can be coated with several acrylic polymers, including artist's gel and nail polish. These materials provide a protective layering around the aerogel and keep it from breaking as easily. Because fragility is one of the main reasons applications of aerogel are limited, these discoveries will hopefully aid in finding future applications for this extraordinary material.

  5. Improved Silica Aerogel Composite Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jong-Ah; Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Jones, Steven

    2008-01-01

    A family of aerogel-matrix composite materials having thermal-stability and mechanical- integrity properties better than those of neat aerogels has been developed. Aerogels are known to be excellent thermal- and acoustic-insulation materials because of their molecular-scale porosity, but heretofore, the use of aerogels has been inhibited by two factors: (1) Their brittleness makes processing and handling difficult. (2) They shrink during production and shrink more when heated to high temperatures during use. The shrinkage and the consequent cracking make it difficult to use them to encapsulate objects in thermal-insulation materials. The underlying concept of aerogel-matrix composites is not new; the novelty of the present family of materials lies in formulations and processes that result in superior properties, which include (1) much less shrinkage during a supercritical-drying process employed in producing a typical aerogel, (2) much less shrinkage during exposure to high temperatures, and (3) as a result of the reduction in shrinkage, much less or even no cracking.

  6. Method for producing metal oxide aerogels

    DOEpatents

    Tillotson, Thomas M.; Poco, John F.; Hrubesh, Lawrence W.; Thomas, Ian M.

    1995-01-01

    A two-step hydrolysis-condensation method was developed to form metal oxide aerogels of any density, including densities of less than 0.003g/cm.sup.3 and greater than 0.27g/cm.sup.3. High purity metal alkoxide is reacted with water, alcohol solvent, and an additive to form a partially condensed metal intermediate. All solvent and reaction-generated alcohol is removed, and the intermediate is diluted with a nonalcoholic solvent. The intermediate can be stored for future use to make aerogels of any density. The aerogels are formed by reacting the intermediate with water, nonalcoholic solvent, and a catalyst, and extracting the nonalcoholic solvent directly. The resulting monolithic aerogels are hydrophobic and stable under atmospheric conditions, and exhibit good optical transparency, high clarity, and homogeneity. The aerogels have high thermal insulation capacity, high porosity, mechanical strength and stability, and require shorter gelation times than aerogels formed by conventional methods.

  7. Method for producing metal oxide aerogels

    DOEpatents

    Tillotson, T.M.; Poco, J.F.; Hrubesh, L.W.; Thomas, I.M.

    1995-04-25

    A two-step hydrolysis-condensation method was developed to form metal oxide aerogels of any density, including densities of less than 0.003g/cm{sup 3} and greater than 0.27g/cm{sup 3}. High purity metal alkoxide is reacted with water, alcohol solvent, and an additive to form a partially condensed metal intermediate. All solvent and reaction-generated alcohol is removed, and the intermediate is diluted with a nonalcoholic solvent. The intermediate can be stored for future use to make aerogels of any density. The aerogels are formed by reacting the intermediate with water, nonalcoholic solvent, and a catalyst, and extracting the nonalcoholic solvent directly. The resulting monolithic aerogels are hydrophobic and stable under atmospheric conditions, and exhibit good optical transparency, high clarity, and homogeneity. The aerogels have high thermal insulation capacity, high porosity, mechanical strength and stability, and require shorter gelation times than aerogels formed by conventional methods. 8 figs.

  8. Aerogel Derived Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Wendell E Rhine, PI; Dong, Wenting; Greg Caggiano, PM

    2010-10-08

    America’s dependence on foreign sources for fuel represents a economic and security threat for the country. These non renewable resources are depleting, and the effects of pollutants from fuels such as oil are reaching a problematic that affects the global community. Solar concentration power (SCP) production systems offer the opportunity to harness one of the United States’ most under utilized natural resources; sunlight. While commercialization of this technology is increasing, in order to become a significant source of electricity production in the United States the costs of deploying and operating SCP plants must be further reduced. Parabolic Trough SCP technologies are close to meeting energy production cost levels that would raise interest in the technology and help accelerate its adoption as a method to produce a significant portion of the Country’s electric power needs. During this program, Aspen Aerogels will develop a transparent aerogel insulation that can replace the costly vacuum insulation systems that are currently used in parabolic trough designs. During the Phase I program, Aspen Aerogels will optimize the optical and thermal properties of aerogel to meet the needs of this application. These properties will be tested, and the results will be used to model the performance of a parabolic trough HCE system which uses this novel material in place of vacuum. During the Phase II program, Aspen Aerogels will scale up this technology. Together with industry partners, Aspen Aerogels will build and test a prototype Heat Collection Element that is insulated with the novel transparent aerogel material. This new device will find use in parabolic trough SCP applications.

  9. Organic aerogel microspheres

    DOEpatents

    Mayer, Steven T.; Kong, Fung-Ming; Pekala, Richard W.; Kaschmitter, James L.

    1999-01-01

    Organic aerogel microspheres which can be used in capacitors, batteries, thermal insulation, adsorption/filtration media, and chromatographic packings, having diameters ranging from about 1 micron to about 3 mm. The microspheres can be pyrolyzed to form carbon aerogel microspheres. This method involves stirring the aqueous organic phase in mineral oil at elevated temperature until the dispersed organic phase polymerizes and forms nonsticky gel spheres. The size of the microspheres depends on the collision rate of the liquid droplets and the reaction rate of the monomers from which the aqueous solution is formed. The collision rate is governed by the volume ratio of the aqueous solution to the mineral oil and the shear rate, while the reaction rate is governed by the chemical formulation and the curing temperature.

  10. Organic aerogel microspheres

    DOEpatents

    Mayer, S.T.; Kong, F.M.; Pekala, R.W.; Kaschmitter, J.L.

    1999-06-01

    Organic aerogel microspheres are disclosed which can be used in capacitors, batteries, thermal insulation, adsorption/filtration media, and chromatographic packings, having diameters ranging from about 1 micron to about 3 mm. The microspheres can be pyrolyzed to form carbon aerogel microspheres. This method involves stirring the aqueous organic phase in mineral oil at elevated temperature until the dispersed organic phase polymerizes and forms nonstick gel spheres. The size of the microspheres depends on the collision rate of the liquid droplets and the reaction rate of the monomers from which the aqueous solution is formed. The collision rate is governed by the volume ratio of the aqueous solution to the mineral oil and the shear rate, while the reaction rate is governed by the chemical formulation and the curing temperature.

  11. Aerogel commercialization pilot project. Final program report

    SciTech Connect

    1996-02-13

    Aerogels are extremely light weight, high surface area, very insulative materials that offer many potential improvements to commercial products. Aerogels have been the subject of extensive research at Department of Energy Laboratories and have been considered one of the technology most ready for commercialization. However, commercialization of the technology had been difficult for the National Laboratories since end users were not interested in the high temperature and high pressure chemical processes involved in manufacturing the raw material. Whereas, Aerojet as a supplier of rocket fuels, specialty chemicals and materials had the manufacturing facilities and experience to commercially produce aerogel-type products. Hence the TRP provided a link between the technology source (National Laboratories), the manufacturing (Aerojet) and the potential end users (other TRP partners). The program successfully produced approximately 500 ft{sup 2} of organic aerogel but failed to make significant quantities of silica aerogel. It is significant that this production represents both the largest volume and biggest pieces of organic aerogel ever produced. Aerogels, available from this program, when tested in several prototype commercial products were expected to improve the products performance, but higher than expected projected production costs for large scale manufacture of aerogels has limited continued commercial interest from these partners. Aerogels do, however, offer potential as a specialty material for some high value technology and defense products.

  12. Nearly Seamless Vacuum-Insulated Boxes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stepanian, Christopher J.; Ou, Danny; Hu, Xiangjun

    2010-01-01

    applied across the thickness, in particular, when the space between the face sheets is evacuated, causing the core material to be squeezed between the face sheets by atmospheric pressure. Fabrication of a typical vacuum-insulated box according to the proposal would begin with fabrication of a cross-shaped polymer-modified aerogel blanket. The dimensions of the cross would be chosen so that (1) the central rectangular portion of the cross would form the core for the back of the box and (2) the arms of the cross could be folded 90 from the back plane to form the cores of the adjacent four sides of the box. Optionally, the blanket could include tabs for joining the folded sides of the blanket along mating edges and tabs that could serve as hinges for the door. Vacuum bags in the form of similar five-sided boxes would be made of a suitable polymeric film, one bag to fit the outer core surface, the other to fit the inner core surface. By use of commercially available film-sealing equipment, these box-shaped bags would be seamed together to form a single vacuum bag encasing the box-shaped core. Also, a one-way valve would be sealed to the bag. Through this valve, the interior of the bag would be evacuated to a pressure between 1 and 10 torr (approximately between 0.13 and 1.3 kPa). The polymer-modified aerogel core material is known to perform well as a thermal insulator in such a partial vacuum.

  13. Aerogel Composites for Aerospace Thermal Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Aerogel composites formed by infiltrating organic and/or inorganic aerogels into fiber matrix materials enable us to exploit the low thermal conductivity and low density of aerogels while maintaining the strength, structure and other useful properties of a porous fiber matrix. New materials for extreme heating ranges are needed to insulate future spacecraft against the extreme heat of planetary atmospheric entry, but the insulation mass must be minimized in order to maximize the payload. A reusable system passively insulates to survive heating unchanged for relatively low heating. Ablators, which sacrifice mass to control heating, are used to protect vehicles against more extreme heating for a single use thermal protection system (TPS). Aerogel composites were fabricated and tested for spacecraft thermal protection. The high-temperaturey high heat flux tests described in this paper were performed in NASA Ames arc-jet facilities to simulate spacecraft atmospheric entry, and include heating conditions predicted for the forebody and backshell of the Mars Science Lander (MSL) entry probe. The aerogel composites tested showed excellent thermal performance in the arc-jet tests, functioning both as reusuable insulation under lower heat fluxes, and as ablative aerogels under the extreme heating predicted for the MSL forebody.

  14. Flexible aerogel composite for mechanical stability and process of fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Coronado, P.R.; Poco, J.F.

    1999-10-26

    A flexible aerogel and process of fabrication are disclosed. An aerogel solution is mixed with fibers in a mold and allowed to gel. The gel is then processed by supercritical extraction, or by air drying, to produce a flexible aerogel formed to the shape of the mold. The flexible aerogel has excellent thermal and acoustic properties, and can be utilized in numerous applications, such as for energy absorption, insulation (temperature and acoustic), to meet the contours of aircraft shapes, and where space is limited since an inch of aerogel is a 4--5 times better insulator than an inch of fiberglass. The flexible aerogel may be of an inorganic (silica) type or an organic (carbon) type, but containing fibers, such as glass or carbon fibers.

  15. Flexible aerogel composite for mechanical stability and process of fabrication

    DOEpatents

    Coronado, Paul R.; Poco, John F.

    2000-01-01

    A flexible aerogel and process of fabrication. An aerogel solution is mixed with fibers in a mold and allowed to gel. The gel is then processed by supercritical extraction, or by air drying, to produce a flexible aerogel formed to the shape of the mold. The flexible aerogel has excellent thermal and acoustic properties, and can be utilized in numerous applications, such as for energy absorption, insulation (temperature and acoustic), to meet the contours of aircraft shapes, and where space is limited since an inch of aerogel is a 4-5 times better insulator than an inch of fiberglass. The flexible aerogel may be of an inorganic (silica) type or an organic (carbon) type, but containing fibers, such as glass or carbon fibers.

  16. Flexible aerogel composite for mechanical stability and process of fabrication

    DOEpatents

    Coronado, Paul R.; Poco, John F.

    1999-01-01

    A flexible aerogel and process of fabrication. An aerogel solution is mixed with fibers in a mold and allowed to gel. The gel is then processed by supercritical extraction, or by air drying, to produce a flexible aerogel formed to the shape of the mold. The flexible aerogel has excellent thermal and acoustic properties, and can be utilized in numerous applications, such as for energy absorption, insulation (temperature and acoustic), to meet the contours of aircraft shapes, and where space is limited since an inch of aerogel is a 4-5 times better insulator than an inch of fiberglass. The flexible aerogel may be of an inorganic (silica) type or an organic (carbon) type, but containing fibers, such as glass or carbon fibers.

  17. Polyimide Cellulose Nanocrystal Composite Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Baochau N.; Meador, Mary Ann; Rowan, Stuart; Cudjoe, Elvis; Sandberg, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Polyimide (PI) aerogels are highly porous solids having low density, high porosity and low thermal conductivity with good mechanical properties. They are ideal for various applications including use in antenna and insulation such as inflatable decelerators used in entry, decent and landing operations. Recently, attention has been focused on stimuli responsive materials such as cellulose nano crystals (CNCs). CNCs are environmentally friendly, bio-renewable, commonly found in plants and the dermis of sea tunicates, and potentially low cost. This study is to examine the effects of CNC on the polyimide aerogels. The CNC used in this project are extracted from mantle of a sea creature called tunicates. A series of polyimide cellulose nanocrystal composite aerogels has been fabricated having 0-13 wt of CNC. Results will be discussed.

  18. Composite Silica Aerogels Opacified with Titania

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jon-Ah; Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Jones, Steven; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; DiStefano, Salvador; Nesmith, Bill

    2009-01-01

    A further improvement has been made to reduce the high-temperature thermal conductivities of the aerogel-matrix composite materials described in Improved Silica Aerogel Composite Materials (NPO-44287), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 32, No. 9 (September 2008), page 50. Because the contribution of infrared radiation to heat transfer increases sharply with temperature, the effective high-temperature thermal conductivity of a thermal-insulation material can be reduced by opacifying the material to reduce the radiative contribution. Therefore, the essence of the present improvement is to add an opacifying constituent material (specifically, TiO2 powder) to the aerogel-matrix composites.

  19. Preparation of Biopolymer Aerogels Using Green Solvents.

    PubMed

    Subrahmanyam, Raman; Gurikov, Pavel; Meissner, Imke; Smirnova, Irina

    2016-01-01

    Although the first reports on aerogels made by Kistler(1) in the 1930s dealt with aerogels from both inorganic oxides (silica and others) and biopolymers (gelatin, agar, cellulose), only recently have biomasses been recognized as an abundant source of chemically diverse macromolecules for functional aerogel materials. Biopolymer aerogels (pectin, alginate, chitosan, cellulose, etc.) exhibit both specific inheritable functions of starting biopolymers and distinctive features of aerogels (80-99% porosity and specific surface up to 800 m(2)/g). This synergy of properties makes biopolymer aerogels promising candidates for a wide gamut of applications such as thermal insulation, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, drug delivery systems, functional foods, catalysts, adsorbents and sensors. This work demonstrates the use of pressurized carbon dioxide (5 MPa) for the ionic cross linking of amidated pectin into hydrogels. Initially a biopolymer/salt dispersion is prepared in water. Under pressurized CO2 conditions, the pH of the biopolymer solution is lowered to 3 which releases the crosslinking cations from the salt to bind with the biopolymer yielding hydrogels. Solvent exchange to ethanol and further supercritical CO2 drying (10 - 12 MPa) yield aerogels. Obtained aerogels are ultra-porous with low density (as low as 0.02 g/cm(3)), high specific surface area (350 - 500 m(2)/g) and pore volume (3 - 7 cm(3)/g for pore sizes less than 150 nm). PMID:27403649

  20. Insulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhea, Dennis

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with insulation. Its objective is for the student to be able to determine insulation needs of new or existing structures, select type to use, use installation techniques, calculate costs, and apply safety factors. Some topics covered…

  1. Synthesis, Processing, and Characterization of Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Cross-Linked Silica, Organic Polyimide, and Inorganic Aluminosilicate Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Baochau N.; Guo, Haiquan N.; McCorkle, Linda S.

    2014-01-01

    As aerospace applications become ever more demanding, novel insulation materials with lower thermal conductivity, lighter weight and higher use temperature are required to fit the aerospace application needs. Having nanopores and high porosity, aerogels are superior thermal insulators, among other things. The use of silica aerogels in general is quite restricted due to their inherent fragility, hygroscopic nature, and poor mechanical properties, especially in extereme aerospace environments. Our research goal is to develop aerogels with better mechanical and environmental stability for a variety of aeronautic and space applications including space suit insulation for planetary surface missions, insulation for inflatable structures for habitats, inflatable aerodynamic decelerators for entry, descent and landing (EDL) operations, and cryotank insulation for advance space propulsion systems. Different type of aerogels including organic-inorganic polymer reinforced (hybrid) silica-based aerogels, polyimide aerogels and inorganic aluminosilicate aerogels have been developed and examined.

  2. Polyolefin-based aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Je Kyun (Inventor); Gould, Gerogle L. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    The present invention relates to cross-linked polyolefin aerogels in simple and fiber-reinforced composite form. Of particular interest are polybutadiene aerogels. Especially aerogels derived from polybutadienes functionalized with anhydrides, amines, hydroxyls, thiols, epoxies, isocyanates or combinations thereof.

  3. Aerogel sorbents

    DOEpatents

    Begag, Redouane; Rhine, Wendell E; Dong, Wenting

    2016-04-05

    The current invention describes methods and compositions of various sorbents based on aerogels of various silanes and their use as sorbent for carbon dioxide. Methods further provide for optimizing the compositions to increase the stability of the sorbents for prolonged use as carbon dioxide capture matrices.

  4. Aerogel Materials by Evaporative Drying: Potential for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plawsky, Joel L.

    1999-01-01

    Aerogel wafers were made using an evaporative drying procedure. The main steps were sol formulation, gelation, aging, capping, and drying. Of these, the most critical step was drying. Both the rate of evaporation and temperature of the system must be controlled for best results. Aerogel materials should be benchmarked against more traditional foams and current systems may have to be redesigned to make best use of aerogel strengths. Finally, the flexibility of this procedure lends itself to producing aerogel materials for many uses other than insulation. Such uses may include catalysis, sensing, and composite materials.

  5. Applications for silica-based aerogel products on an industrial scale

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, M.; Schwertfeger, F.

    1998-12-31

    Aerogels, nanoporous lightweight materials, were discovered more than 60 years ago. The supercritical manufacturing process and expensive raw materials typically used to produce aerogels prohibited commercialization on an industrial scale. Recently a commercially attractive ambient pressure production process was developed which will allow broader commercialization of silica-aerogel products. Some aerogel products for insulation applications and their preparation are described. Sound insulation properties including a remarkable absorption in the difficult low frequency range was found. In the case of insulation plates performance depends on binder and can be positively influenced by choosing the right binding material.

  6. Tailoring mechanical properties of aerogels for aerospace applications.

    PubMed

    Randall, Jason P; Meador, Mary Ann B; Jana, Sadhan C

    2011-03-01

    Silica aerogels are highly porous solid materials consisting of three-dimensional networks of silica particles and are typically obtained by removing the liquid in silica gels under supercritical conditions. Several unique attributes such as extremely low thermal conductivity and low density make silica aerogels excellent candidates in the quest for thermal insulation materials used in space missions. However, native silica aerogels are fragile at relatively low stresses. More durable aerogels with higher strength and stiffness are obtained by proper selection of silane precursors and by reinforcement with polymers. This paper first presents a brief review of the literature on methods of silica aerogel reinforcement and then discusses our recent activities in improving not only the strength but also the elastic response of polymer-reinforced silica aerogels. Several alkyl-linked bis-silanes were used in promoting flexibility of the silica networks in conjunction with polymer reinforcement by epoxy. PMID:21361281

  7. Particle Tracks in Aerogel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    In an experiment using a special air gun, particles are shot into aerogel at high velocities. Closeup of particles that have been captured in aerogel are shown here. The particles leave a carrot-shaped trail in the aerogel. Aerogel was used on the Stardust spacecraft to capture comet particles from Comet Wild 2.

  8. Surface modified aerogel monoliths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leventis, Nicholas (Inventor); Johnston, James C. (Inventor); Kuczmarski, Maria A. (Inventor); Meador, Mary Ann B. (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    This invention comprises reinforced aerogel monoliths such as silica aerogels having a polymer coating on its outer geometric surface boundary, and to the method of preparing said aerogel monoliths. The polymer coatings on the aerogel monoliths are derived from polymer precursors selected from the group consisting of isocyanates as a precursor, precursors of epoxies, and precursors of polyimides. The coated aerogel monoliths can be modified further by encapsulating the aerogel with the polymer precursor reinforced with fibers such as carbon or glass fibers to obtain mechanically reinforced composite encapsulated aerogel monoliths.

  9. Highly Insulating Windows with a U-value less than 0.6 W/m2K

    SciTech Connect

    Wendell Rhine; Ying Tang; Wenting Dong; Roxana Trifu; Reduane Begag

    2008-11-30

    satisfying constraints such as durability, cost, user acceptance, size limits, and environmental safety concerns. The energy efficient daylighting window will consist of a translucent and resilient aerogel panel sandwiched between glass panes in double glazed windows. Compared to the best windows available today, the double glazed translucent windows with 1/2-inch aerogel inserts will have a U-value of 1.2 W/m{sup 2} K (0.211 BTU/ft{sup 2} h F) without any coating or low conductivity fill gases. These windows will be more effective than the windows with an Energy Star rating of U-2 W/m{sup 2} K and could be made even more efficient by using low-e coated glass glazings and inert gas fills. This report summarizes the work accomplished on Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-03NT41950. During this project, Aspen Aerogels made transparent and translucent aerogels from TMOS and TEOS. We characterized the transparency of the aerogels, reinforced the transparent aerogels with fibers and prepared large translucent aerogel panels and blankets. We also conducted an initial market study for energy efficient translucent windows. A lab-scale process was developed that could be scaled-up to manufacture blankets of these translucent aerogels. The large blankets prepared were used to fabricate prototype translucent windows and skylights. The primary goal of this project was to develop transparent, resilient, hydrophobic silica aerogels that have low thermal conductivities (R-10/inch) to be used to produce aerogel insulated double-glazing windows with a U value of 0.6 W/m{sup 2}K. To meet this objective we developed a process and equipment to produce blankets of translucent, hydrophobic aerogel. We focused on silica, organically-modified silica aerogels (Ormosils), and fiber reinforced silica aerogels due to the appreciable expertise in silica sol-gel processing available with the personnel at Aspen Aerogels, and also due to the quantity of knowledge available in the scientific literature. The

  10. Distributing Radiant Heat in Insulation Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freitag, H. J.; Reyes, A. R.; Ammerman, M. C.

    1986-01-01

    Thermally radiating blanket of stepped thickness distributes heat over insulation sample during thermal vacuum testing. Woven of silicon carbide fibers, blanket spreads heat from quartz lamps evenly over insulation sample. Because of fewer blanket layers toward periphery of sample, more heat initially penetrates there for more uniform heat distribution.

  11. Progress on DCLL Blanket Concept

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Clement; Abdou, M.; Katoh, Yutai; Kurtz, Richard J.; Lumsdaine, A.; Marriott, Edward P.; Merrill, Brad; Morley, Neil; Pint, Bruce A.; Sawan, M.; Smolentsev, S.; Williams, Brian; Willms, Scott; Youssef, M.

    2013-09-01

    Under the US Fusion Nuclear Science and Technology Development program, we have selected the Dual Coolant Lead Lithium concept (DCLL) as a reference blanket, which has the potential to be a high performance DEMO blanket design with a projected thermal efficiency of >40%. Reduced activation ferritic/martensitic (RAF/M) steel is used as the structural material. The self-cooled breeder PbLi is circulated for power conversion and for tritium breeding. A SiC-based flow channel insert (FCI) is used as a means for magnetohydrodynamic pressure drop reduction from the circulating liquid PbLi and as a thermal insulator to separate the high-temperature PbLi (~700°C) from the helium-cooled RAF/M steel structure. We are making progress on related R&D needs to address critical Fusion Nuclear Science and Facility (FNSF) and DEMO blanket development issues. When performing the function as the Interface Coordinator for the DCLL blanket concept, we had been developing the mechanical design and performing neutronics, structural and thermal hydraulics analyses of the DCLL TBM module. We had estimated the necessary ancillary equipment that will be needed at the ITER site and a detailed safety impact report has been prepared. This provided additional understanding of the DCLL blanket concept in preparation for the FNSF and DEMO. This paper will be a summary report on the progress of the DCLL TBM design and R&Ds for the DCLL blanket concept.

  12. Aerogel/Particle Composites for Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jong-Ah; Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Jones, Steven

    2006-01-01

    Optimizing solution chemistry and the addition of titania and fumed silica powder reduces shrinkage. These materials would serve to increase thermal efficiency by providing thermal insulation to suppress lateral heat leaks. They would also serve to prolong operational lifetime by suppressing sublimation of certain constituents of thermoelectric materials (e.g., sublimation of Sb from CoSb3) at typical high operating temperatures. [The use of pure silica aerogels as cast-in-place thermal-insulation and sublimation-suppression materials was described in "Aerogels for Thermal Insulation of Thermoelectric Devices" (NPO-40630), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 30, No. 7 (July 2006), page 50.] A silica aerogel is synthesized in a solgel process that includes preparation of a silica sol, gelation of the sol, and drying of the gel in a solvent at a supercritical temperature and pressure. The utility of pure silica aerogel is diminished by a tendency to shrink (and, therefore, also to crack) during the gelation and supercritical-drying stages. Moreover, to increase suppression of sublimation, it is advantageous to make an aerogel having greater density, but shrinkage and cracking tend to increase with density. A composite material of the type under investigation consists mostly of titania oxide powder particles and a small addition of fumed silica powder, which are mixed into the sol along with other ingredients prior to the gelation stage of processing. The silica aerogel and fumed silica act as a binder, gluing the titania particles together. It is believed that the addition of fumed silica stiffens the aerogel network and reduces shrinkage during the supercritical-drying stage. Minimization of shrinkage enables establishment of intimate contact between thermoelectric legs and the composite material, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of the material for thermal insulation and suppression of sublimation. To some extent, the properties of the composite can be tailored via the

  13. Self-assembled and pyrolyzed carbon aerogels: an overview of their preparation mechanisms, properties and applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allahbakhsh, Ahmad; Bahramian, Ahmad Reza

    2015-08-01

    An overview of the synthesis conditions and mechanisms for the fabrication of different types of carbon aerogels, as well as the structural and functional properties of these materials, is presented here. In this overview, carbon aerogels are classified into three major categories: (i) conventional pyrolyzed organic-based carbon aerogels, which are products of the pyrolysis process of organic aerogels; (ii) self-assembled carbon aerogels, which are products of a reduction process; and (iii) nanocomposite carbon aerogels. Synthesis mechanisms for the sol-gel process of organic aerogels are reviewed using different mechanisms suggested in the literature. Moreover, the overall fabrication process of self-assembled carbon aerogels (graphene and carbon nanotube aerogels) is covered and the suggested mechanism for the gelation process of self-assembled carbon aerogels during the reduction process is investigated using reported mechanisms. The structural performance and functional properties (electrochemical and thermal properties) of different types of carbon aerogels are covered in detail. Moreover, different structural features of carbon aerogels and the influence of synthesis conditions on these structural characteristics are assessed and compared. Based on the literature results covered in this review paper, carbon aerogels are perfect candidates for the fabrication of ultra-low density supercapacitors, as well as thermal insulating materials.

  14. Self-assembled and pyrolyzed carbon aerogels: an overview of their preparation mechanisms, properties and applications.

    PubMed

    Allahbakhsh, Ahmad; Bahramian, Ahmad Reza

    2015-09-14

    An overview of the synthesis conditions and mechanisms for the fabrication of different types of carbon aerogels, as well as the structural and functional properties of these materials, is presented here. In this overview, carbon aerogels are classified into three major categories: (i) conventional pyrolyzed organic-based carbon aerogels, which are products of the pyrolysis process of organic aerogels; (ii) self-assembled carbon aerogels, which are products of a reduction process; and (iii) nanocomposite carbon aerogels. Synthesis mechanisms for the sol-gel process of organic aerogels are reviewed using different mechanisms suggested in the literature. Moreover, the overall fabrication process of self-assembled carbon aerogels (graphene and carbon nanotube aerogels) is covered and the suggested mechanism for the gelation process of self-assembled carbon aerogels during the reduction process is investigated using reported mechanisms. The structural performance and functional properties (electrochemical and thermal properties) of different types of carbon aerogels are covered in detail. Moreover, different structural features of carbon aerogels and the influence of synthesis conditions on these structural characteristics are assessed and compared. Based on the literature results covered in this review paper, carbon aerogels are perfect candidates for the fabrication of ultra-low density supercapacitors, as well as thermal insulating materials. PMID:26245296

  15. Pore morphology study of silica aerogels

    SciTech Connect

    Hua, D.W.; Anderson, J.; Haereid, S.; Smith, D.M.

    1994-12-31

    Silica aerogels have numerous properties which suggest applications such as ultra high efficiency thermal insulation. These properties relate directly to the aerogel`s pore size distribution. The micro and meso pore size ranges can be investigated by normal small angle x-ray scattering and possibly, nitrogen adsorption. However, the measurement of larger pores (> 250 {angstrom}) is more difficult. Due to their limited mechanical strength, mercury porosimetry and nitrogen condensation can disrupt the gel structure and electron microscopy provides only limited large scale structure information. The use of small angle light scattering techniques seems to have promise, the only hurdle is that aerogels exhibit significant multiple scattering. This can be avoided if one observes the gels in the wet stage since the structure of the aerogel should be very similar to the wet gel (as the result of supercritical drying). Thus, if one can match the refractive index, the morphology can be probed. The combination of certain alcoholic solvents fit this index matching criteria. Preliminary results for the gel network (micron range) and primary particle structure (manometer) are reported by using small angle light scattering and ultra-small angle x-ray scattering. The effects on structure over the length scale range of <1 nm to >5 {mu}m under different conditions (precursors, pH, etc.) are presented. The change in structure of an aerogel during isostatic compaction to 228 MPa (to simulate drying from wetting solvents) are also discussed.

  16. Resorcinol-formaldehyde and carbon aerogel microspheres

    SciTech Connect

    Alviso, C.T.; Pekela, R.W.; Gross, J.; Lu, X.; Caps, R.; Fricke, J

    1996-04-01

    Aerogels are a unique class of materials possessing an open-cell structure with ultrafine cells/pores (<100nm), high surface area (400--1100 m{sup 2}/g), and a solid matrix composed of interconnected particles, fibers, or platelets with characteristic dimensions of 10nm. Although monolithic aerogels are ideal candidates for many applications (e.g. transparent window insulation), current processing methods have limited their introduction into the commercial marketplace. Our research focuses on the formation of resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) aerogel microspheres which offer an attractive alternative to monolith production. An inverse emulsion polymerization is used to produce these spherical gel particles which undergo solvent exchange followed by supercritical drying with carbon dioxide. This process yields aerogel microspheres (10--80{mu} diameter) which can be used as loosely packed powders, compression molded into near-net shapes using a polymer binder, or used as additives in conventional foaming operations to produce new aerogel composites with superior thermal properties. The emulsification procedure, thermal characterization, mechanical properties, and potential applications of RF aerogel microspheres will be discussed.

  17. Mechanically Strong Lightweight Materials for Aerospace Applications (x-aerogels)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leventis, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    The X-Aerogel is a new NASA-developed strong lightweight material made by reacting the mesoporous surfaces of 3-D networks of inorganic nanoparticles with polymeric crosslinkers. Since the relative amount of the crosslinker and the backbone are comparable, X-Aerogels can be viewed either as aerogels modified by templated accumulation of polymer on the skeletal nanoparticles, or as nanoporous polymers made by templated casting of polymeric precursors on a nanostructured framework. The most striking feature of X-Aerogels is that for a nominal 3-fold increase in density (still a ultralightweight material), the mechanical strength can be up to 300 times higher than the strength of the underlying native aerogel. Thus, X-Aerogels combine a multiple of the specific compressive strength of steel, with the thermal conductivity of styrofoam. XAerogels have been demonstrated with several polymers such as polyurethanes/polyureas, epoxies and polyolefins, while crosslinking of approximately 35 different oxide aerogels yields a wide variety of dimensionally stable, porous lightweight materials with interesting structural, magnetic and optical properties. X-Aerogels are evaluated for cryogenic rocket fuel storage tanks and for Advanced EVA suits, where they will play the dual role of the thermal insulator/structural material. Along the same lines, major impact is also expected by the use of X-Aerogels in structural components/thermal protection for small satellites, spacecrafts, planetary vehicles and habitats.

  18. Thin aerogel films for optical, thermal, acoustic, and electronic applications

    SciTech Connect

    Hrubesh, L.W.; Poco, J.F.

    1994-09-01

    Aerogels are a special class of continuously porous solid materials which are characterized by nanometer size particles and pores. Typically, aerogels are made using sol-gel chemistry to form a solvent filled, high porosity gel that is dried by removing the solvent without collapsing the tenuous solid phase. As bulk materials, aerogels are known to have many exceptional, and even some unique physical properties. Aerogels provide the highest thermal insulation and lowest dielectric constant of any other material known. However, some important applications require the aerogels in the form of thin films or sheets. For example, electronic applications require micrometer thin aerogel films bonded to a substrate, and others require thicker films, either on a substrate or as free standing sheets. Special methods are required to make aerogel thin films or sheets. In this paper, the authors discuss the special conditions needed to fabricate thin aerogel films and they describe methods to make films and thin sheets. They also give some specific applications for which aerogel films are being developed.

  19. Aerogel in Hand

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Though ghostly in appearance like an hologram, aerogel is very solid. It feels like hard styrofoam to the touch. Aerogel was used on the Stardust spacecraft to capture comet particles from Comet Wild 2.

  20. Influence of Boehmite Precursor on Aluminosilicate Aerogel Pore Structure, Phase Stability and Resistance to Densification at High Temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurwitz, Frances I.; Guo, Haiquan; Newlin, Katy N.

    2011-01-01

    Aluminosilicate aerogels are of interest as constituents of thermal insulation systems for use at temperatures higher than those attainable with silica aerogels. It is anticipated that their effectiveness as thermal insulators will be influenced by their morphology, pore size distribution, physical and skeletal densities. The present study focuses on the synthesis of aluminosilicate aerogel from a variety of Boehmite (precursors as the Al source, and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) as the Si source, and the influence of starting powder on pore structure and thermal stability.

  1. Carbon nanomaterials in silica aerogel matrices

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Christopher E; Chavez, Manuel E; Duque, Juan G; Gupta, Gautam; Doorn, Stephen K; Dattelbaum, Andrew M; Obrey, Kimberly A D

    2010-01-01

    Silica aerogels are ultra low-density, high surface area materials that are extremely good thermal insulators and have numerous technical applications. However, their mechanical properties are not ideal, as they are brittle and prone to shattering. Conversely, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and graphene-based materials, such as graphene oxide, have extremely high tensile strength and possess novel electronic properties. By introducing SWCNTs or graphene-based materials into aerogel matrices, it is possible to produce composites with the desirable properties of both constituents. We have successfully dispersed SWCNTs and graphene-based materials into silica gels. Subsequent supercritical drying results in monolithic low-density composites having improved mechanical properties. These nanocomposite aerogels have great potential for use in a wide range of applications.

  2. Uncooled thin film pyroelectric IR detector with aerogel thermal isolation

    DOEpatents

    Ruffner, Judith A.; Bullington, Jeff A.; Clem, Paul G.; Warren, William L.; Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Tuttle, Bruce A.; Schwartz, Robert W.

    1999-01-01

    A monolithic infrared detector structure which allows integration of pyroelectric thin films atop low thermal conductivity aerogel thin films. The structure comprises, from bottom to top, a substrate, an aerogel insulating layer, a lower electrode, a pyroelectric layer, and an upper electrode layer capped by a blacking layer. The aerogel can offer thermal conductivity less than that of air, while providing a much stronger monolithic alternative to cantilevered or suspended air-gap structures for pyroelectric thin film pixel arrays. Pb(Zr.sub.0.4 Ti.sub.0.6)O.sub.3 thin films deposited on these structures displayed viable pyroelectric properties, while processed at 550.degree. C.

  3. Polyimide Aerogel Thin Films

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann; Guo, Haiquan

    2012-01-01

    Polyimide aerogels have been crosslinked through multifunctional amines. This invention builds on "Polyimide Aerogels With Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure," and may be considered as a continuation of that invention, which results in a polyimide aerogel with a flexible, formable form. Gels formed from polyamic acid solutions, end-capped with anhydrides, and cross-linked with the multifunctional amines, are chemically imidized and dried using supercritical CO2 extraction to give aerogels having density around 0.1 to 0.3 g/cubic cm. The aerogels are 80 to 95% porous, and have high surface areas (200 to 600 sq m/g) and low thermal conductivity (as low as 14 mW/m-K at room temperature). Notably, the cross-linked polyimide aerogels have higher modulus than polymer-reinforced silica aerogels of similar density, and can be fabricated as both monoliths and thin films.

  4. Improvements of reinforced silica aerogel nanocomposites thermal properties for architecture applications.

    PubMed

    Saboktakin, Amin; Saboktakin, Mohammad Reza

    2015-01-01

    An 1,4-cis polybutadiene rubber/carboxymethyl starch (CMS)-based silica aerogel nanocomposites as a insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation properties, flexibility, toughness, durability of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation properties associated with the aerogels. In this study, reinforced 1,4-cis polybutadiene-CMS-silica aerogel nanocomposites were prepared from a silica aerogel with a surface area 710 m(2) g(-1), a pore size of 25.3 nm and a pore volume of 4.7 cm(3) g(-1). The tensile properties and dynamic mechanical properties of 1,4-cis polybutadiene/CMS nanocomposites were systematically enhanced at low silica loading. Similar improvements in tensile modulus and strength have been observed for 1,4-cis polybutadiene/CMS mesoporous silica aerogel nanocomposites. PMID:25172161

  5. Clay Nanocomposite/Aerogel Sandwich Structures for Cryotanks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Sandi; Leventis, Nicholas; Johnston, J. Chris; Meador, Michael

    2006-01-01

    GRC research has led to the development of epoxy-clay nanocomposites with 60-70% lower gas permeability than the base epoxy resin. Filament wound carbon fiber reinforced tanks made with this nanocomposite had a five-fold lower helium leak rate than the corresponding tanks made without clay. More recent work has produced new composites with more than a 100-fold reduction in helium permeability. Use of these advanced, high barrier composites would eliminate the need for a liner in composite cryotanks, thereby simplifying construction and reducing propellant leakage. Aerogels are attractive materials for use as cryotank insulation because of their low density and low thermal conductivity. However, aerogels are fragile and have poor environmental stability, which have limited their use to certain applications in specialized environments (e.g., in certain types of nuclear reactors as Cerenkov radiation detectors, and as thermal insulators aboard space rovers on Mars). New GRC developed polymer crosslinked aerogels (X-Aerogels) retain the low density of conventional aerogels, but they demonstrate a 300-fold increase in their mechanical strength. Currently, our strongest materials combine a density of approx. 0.45 g/cc, a thermal conductivity of approx. 0.04 W/mK and a compressive strength of 185 MPa. Use of these novel aerogels as insulation materials/structural components in combination with the low permeability of epoxy-clay nanocomposites could significantly reduce cryotank weight and improve durability.

  6. Cellulose-silica aerogels.

    PubMed

    Demilecamps, Arnaud; Beauger, Christian; Hildenbrand, Claudia; Rigacci, Arnaud; Budtova, Tatiana

    2015-05-20

    Aerogels based on interpenetrated cellulose-silica networks were prepared and characterised. Wet coagulated cellulose was impregnated with silica phase, polyethoxydisiloxane, using two methods: (i) molecular diffusion and (ii) forced flow induced by pressure difference. The latter allowed an enormous decrease in the impregnation times, by almost three orders of magnitude, for a sample with the same geometry. In both cases, nanostructured silica gel was in situ formed inside cellulose matrix. Nitrogen adsorption analysis revealed an almost threefold increase in pores specific surface area, from cellulose aerogel alone to organic-inorganic composite. Morphology, thermal conductivity and mechanical properties under uniaxial compression were investigated. Thermal conductivity of composite aerogels was lower than that of cellulose aerogel due to the formation of superinsulating mesoporous silica inside cellulose pores. Furthermore, composite aerogels were stiffer than each of reference aerogels. PMID:25817671

  7. In Vivo Ultrasonic Detection of Polyurea Crosslinked Silica Aerogel Implants

    PubMed Central

    Sabri, Firouzeh; Sebelik, Merry E.; Meacham, Ryan; Boughter, John D.; Challis, Mitchell J.; Leventis, Nicholas

    2013-01-01

    Background Polyurea crosslinked silica aerogels are highly porous, lightweight, and mechanically strong materials with great potential for in vivo applications. Recent in vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated the biocompatibility of this type of aerogel. The highly porous nature of aerogels allows for exceptional thermal, electric, and acoustic insulating capabilities that can be taken advantage of for non-invasive external imaging techniques. Sound-based detection of implants is a low cost, non-invasive, portable, and rapid technique that is routinely used and readily available in major clinics and hospitals. Methodology In this study the first in vivo ultrasound response of polyurea crosslinked silica aerogel implants was investigated by means of a GE Medical Systems LogiQe diagnostic ultrasound machine with a linear array probe. Aerogel samples were inserted subcutaneously and sub-muscularly in a) fresh animal model and b) cadaveric human model for analysis. For comparison, samples of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) were also imaged under similar conditions as the aerogel samples. Conclusion/significance Polyurea crosslinked silica aerogel (X-Si aerogel) implants were easily identified when inserted in either of the regions in both fresh animal model and cadaveric model. The implant dimensions inferred from the images matched the actual size of the implants and no apparent damage was sustained by the X-Si aerogel implants as a result of the ultrasonic imaging process. The aerogel implants demonstrated hyperechoic behavior and significant posterior shadowing. Results obtained were compared with images acquired from the PDMS implants inserted at the same location. PMID:23799093

  8. Method of casting aerogels

    DOEpatents

    Poco, J.F.

    1993-09-07

    The invention describes a method for making monolithic castings of transparent silica aerogel with densities in the range from 0.001 g/cm[sup 3] to 0.6 g/cm[sup 3]. Various shapes of aerogels are cast in flexible polymer molds which facilitate removal and eliminate irregular surfaces. Mold dimensions are preselected to account for shrinkage of aerogel which occurs during the drying step of supercritical extraction of solvent. 2 figures.

  9. Aerogel-supported filament

    DOEpatents

    Wuest, C.R.; Tillotson, T.M.; Johnson, C.V. III

    1995-05-16

    The present invention is a thin filament embedded in a low density aerogel for use in radiation detection instruments and incandescent lamps. The aerogel provides a supportive matrix that is thermally and electrically nonconductive, mechanically strong, highly porous, gas-permeable, and transparent to ionizing radiation over short distances. A low density, open-cell aerogel is cast around a fine filament or wire, which allows the wire to be positioned with little or no tension and keeps the wire in place in the event of breakage. The aerogel support reduces the stresses on the wire caused by vibrational, gravitational, electrical, and mechanical forces. 6 Figs.

  10. Aerogel-supported filament

    DOEpatents

    Wuest, Craig R.; Tillotson, Thomas M.; Johnson, III, Coleman V.

    1995-01-01

    The present invention is a thin filament embedded in a low density aerogel for use in radiation detection instruments and incandescent lamps. The aerogel provides a supportive matrix that is thermally and electrically nonconductive, mechanically strong, highly porous, gas-permeable, and transparent to ionizing radiation over short distances. A low density, open-cell aerogel is cast around a fine filament or wire, which allows the wire to be positioned with little or no tension and keeps the wire in place in the event of breakage. The aerogel support reduces the stresses on the wire caused by vibrational, gravitational, electrical, and mechanical forces.

  11. Automotive Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Under a Space Act Agreement between Boeing North America and BSR Products, Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System (TPS) materials are now used to insulate race cars. BSR has created special TPS blanket insulation kits for use on autos that take part in NASCAR events, and other race cars through its nationwide catalog distribution system. Temperatures inside a race car's cockpit can soar to a sweltering 140 to 160 degrees, with the extreme heat coming through the engine firewall, transmission tunnel, and floor. It is common for NASCAR drivers to endure blisters and burns due to the excessive heat. Tests on a car insulated with the TPS material showed a temperature drop of some 50 degrees in the driver's cockpit. BSR-TPS Products, Inc. now manufactures insulation kits for distribution to race car teams around the world.

  12. Assessment of Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) Risk for 3 Different Tasks Constructing and Repairing Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) Blankets, Preparing the Dough for a Pizza, and Operating the Becton-Dickinson FACSAria Flow Cytometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gentzler, Marc; Kline, Martin; Palmer, Andrew; Terrone, Mark

    2007-01-01

    The Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) risks for three different tasks using McCauley-Bell and Badiru's (1993) formula based on task, personal, and organizational factors were examined. For the Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) blanket task, the results showed that the task, personal, and organizational risks were at about the same level. The personal risk factors for this task were evaluated using a hypothetical female employee age 52. For the pizza dough task, it was shown that the organizational risk was particularly high, with task related factors also at quite dangerous levels. On the other hand, there was a very low level of personal risk factors, based on a female age 17. The flow cytometer task was assessed with three different participants, a11 of whom had quite disparate levels of personal risk, which slightly affected the overall CTD risk. This reveals how individual difference variables certainly need to be considered. The task and organizational risks for this task were rated at about the same moderate level. The overall CTD risk averaged across the three participants was .335, indicating some risk. Compruing across the tasks revealed that the pizza dough task created the greatest overall CTD risk by far (.568), with the MLI (.325) and flow cytometer task (.335) having some risk associated with them. Future research should look into different tasks for more of a comparison

  13. Two Dimensional Heat Transfer around Penetrations in Multilayer Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Wesley L.; Kelly, Andrew O.; Jumper, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this task was to quantify thermal losses involving integrating MLI into real life situations. Testing specifically focused on the effects of penetrations (including structural attachments, electrical conduit/feedthroughs, and fluid lines) through MLI. While there have been attempts at quantifying these losses both analytically and experimentally, none have included a thorough investigation of the methods and materials that could be used in such applications. To attempt to quantify the excess heat load coming into the system due to the integration losses, a calorimeter was designed to study two dimensional heat transfer through penetrated MLI. The test matrix was designed to take as many variables into account as was possible with the limited test duration and system size. The parameters varied were the attachment mechanism, the buffer material (for buffer attachment mechanisms only), the thickness of the buffer, and the penetration material. The work done under this task is an attempt to measure the parasitic heat loads and affected insulation areas produced by system integration, to model the parasitic loads, and from the model produce engineering equations to allow for the determination of parasitic heat loads in future applications. The methods of integration investigated were no integration, using a buffer to thermally isolate the strut from the MLI, and temperature matching the MLI on the strut. Several materials were investigated as a buffer material including aerogel blankets, aerogel bead packages, cryolite, and even an evacuated vacuum space (in essence a no buffer condition).

  14. Cellulose aerogels from aqueous alkali hydroxide-urea solution.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jie; Kimura, Satoshi; Wada, Masahisa; Kuga, Shigenori; Zhang, Lina

    2008-01-01

    Highly porous and strong cellulose aerogels were prepared by gelation of cellulose from aqueous alkali hydroxide/urea solution, followed by drying with supercritical CO2. Their morphology, pore structure, and physical properties were characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, nitrogen adsorption measurements, UV/Vis spectrometry, and tensile tests. The cellulose hydrogel was composed of interconnected about 20 nm wide. By using supercritical CO2 drying, the network structure in the hydrogel was well preserved in the aerogel. The results are preliminary but demonstrate the ability of this method to give cellulose aerogels of large surface areas (400-500 m2 g(-1)) which may be useful as adsorbents, heat/sound insulators, filters, catalyst supports, or carbon aerogel precursors. PMID:18605678

  15. Mechanically Strong, Lightweight Porous Materials Developed (X-Aerogels)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leventis, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    Aerogels are attractive materials for a variety of NASA missions because they are ultralightweight, have low thermal conductivity and low-dielectric constants, and can be readily doped with other materials. Potential NASA applications for these materials include lightweight insulation for spacecraft, habitats, and extravehicular activity (EVA) suits; catalyst supports for fuel cell and in situ resource utilization; and sensors for air- and water-quality monitoring for vehicles, habitats, and EVA suits. Conventional aerogels are extremely fragile and require processing via supercritical fluid extraction, which adds cost to the production of an aerogel and limits the sizes and geometries of samples that can be produced from these materials. These issues have severely hampered the application of aerogels in NASA missions.

  16. Strong, Thermally Superinsulating Biopolymer-Silica Aerogel Hybrids by Cogelation of Silicic Acid with Pectin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shanyu; Malfait, Wim J; Demilecamps, Arnaud; Zhang, Yucheng; Brunner, Samuel; Huber, Lukas; Tingaut, Philippe; Rigacci, Arnaud; Budtova, Tatiana; Koebel, Matthias M

    2015-11-23

    Silica aerogels are excellent thermal insulators, but their brittle nature has prevented widespread application. To overcome these mechanical limitations, silica-biopolymer hybrids are a promising alternative. A one-pot process to monolithic, superinsulating pectin-silica hybrid aerogels is presented. Their structural and physical properties can be tuned by adjusting the gelation pH and pectin concentration. Hybrid aerogels made at pH 1.5 exhibit minimal dust release and vastly improved mechanical properties while remaining excellent thermal insulators. The change in the mechanical properties is directly linked to the observed "neck-free" nanoscale network structure with thicker struts. Such a design is superior to "neck-limited", classical inorganic aerogels. This new class of materials opens up new perspectives for novel silica-biopolymer nanocomposite aerogels. PMID:26447457

  17. Carbon aerogel composites prepared by ambient drying and using oxidized polyacrylonitrile fibers as reinforcements.

    PubMed

    Feng, Junzong; Zhang, Changrui; Feng, Jian; Jiang, Yonggang; Zhao, Nan

    2011-12-01

    Carbon fiber-reinforced carbon aerogel composites (C/CAs) for thermal insulators were prepared by copyrolysis of resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) aerogels reinforced by oxidized polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber felts. The RF aerogel composites were obtained by impregnating PAN fiber felts with RF sols, then aging, ethanol exchanging, and drying at ambient pressure. Upon carbonization, the PAN fibers shrink with the RF aerogels, thus reducing the difference of shrinkage rates between the fiber reinforcements and the aerogel matrices, and resulting in C/CAs without any obvious cracks. The three point bend strength of the C/CAs is 7.1 ± 1.7 MPa, and the thermal conductivity is 0.328 W m(-1) K(-1) at 300 °C in air. These composites can be used as high-temperature thermal insulators (in inert atmospheres or vacuum) or supports for phase change materials in thermal protection system. PMID:22047011

  18. Carbon Nanofiber Incorporated Silica Based Aerogels with Di-Isocyanate Cross-Linking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vivod, Stephanie L.; Meador, Mary Ann B.; Capadona, Lynn A.; Sullivan, Roy M.; Ghosn, Louis J.; Clark, Nicholas; McCorkle, Linda

    2008-01-01

    Lightweight materials with excellent thermal insulating properties are highly sought after for a variety of aerospace and aeronautic applications. (1) Silica based aerogels with their high surface area and low relative densities are ideal for applications in extreme environments such as insulators for the Mars Rover battery. (2) However, the fragile nature of aerogel monoliths prevents their widespread use in more down to earth applications. We have shown that the fragile aerogel network can be cross-linked with a di-isocyanate via amine decorated surfaces to form a conformal coating. (3) This coating reinforces the neck regions between secondary silica particles and significantly strengthens the aerogels with only a small effect on density or porosity. Scheme 1 depicts the cross-linking reaction with the di-isocyanate and exhibits the stages that result in polymer cross-linked aerogel monoliths.

  19. Method of manufacturing aerogel composites

    DOEpatents

    Cao, Wanqing; Hunt, Arlon Jason

    1999-01-01

    Disclosed herewith is a process of forming an aerogel composite which comprises introducing a gaseous material into a formed aerogel monolith or powder, and causing decomposition of said gaseous material in said aerogel in amounts sufficient to cause deposition of the decomposition products of the gas on the surfaces of the pores of the said aerogel.

  20. Method of manufacturing aerogel composites

    DOEpatents

    Cao, W.; Hunt, A.J.

    1999-03-09

    Disclosed herewith is a process of forming an aerogel composite which comprises introducing a gaseous material into a formed aerogel monolith or powder, and causing decomposition of said gaseous material in said aerogel in amounts sufficient to cause deposition of the decomposition products of the gas on the surfaces of the pores of the said aerogel.

  1. Aerogel-clad optical fiber

    DOEpatents

    Sprehn, Gregory A.; Hrubesh, Lawrence W.; Poco, John F.; Sandler, Pamela H.

    1997-01-01

    An optical fiber is surrounded by an aerogel cladding. For a low density aerogel, the index of refraction of the aerogel is close to that of air, which provides a high numerical aperture to the optical fiber. Due to the high numerical aperture, the aerogel clad optical fiber has improved light collection efficiency.

  2. Aerogel-clad optical fiber

    DOEpatents

    Sprehn, G.A.; Hrubesh, L.W.; Poco, J.F.; Sandler, P.H.

    1997-11-04

    An optical fiber is surrounded by an aerogel cladding. For a low density aerogel, the index of refraction of the aerogel is close to that of air, which provides a high numerical aperture to the optical fiber. Due to the high numerical aperture, the aerogel clad optical fiber has improved light collection efficiency. 4 figs.

  3. Comet Ejecta in Aerogel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for annotated image

    This image shows a particle impact on the aluminum frame that holds the aerogel tiles. The debris from the impact shot into the adjacent aerogel tile producing the explosion pattern of ejecta framents captured in the material. A nice cratering experiment.

  4. Melamine-formaldehyde aerogels

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, Richard Walter

    1992-01-01

    Organic aerogels that are transparent and essentially colorless are prepa from the aqueous, sol-gel polymerization of melamine with formaldehyde. The melamine-formaldehyde (MF) aerogels have low densities, high surface areas, continuous porsity, ultrafine cell/pore sizes, and optical clarity.

  5. Melamine-formaldehyde aerogels

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, R.W.

    1992-01-14

    Organic aerogels that are transparent and essentially colorless are prepared from the aqueous, sol-gel polymerization of melamine with formaldehyde. The melamine-formaldehyde (MF) aerogels have low densities, high surface areas, continuous porosity, ultrafine cell/pore sizes, and optical clarity. 3 figs.

  6. Cryogenic Insulation Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Augustynowicz, S. D.; Fesmire, J. E.; Wikstrom, J. P.

    1999-01-01

    The results of a comparative study of cryogenic insulation systems performed are presented. The key aspects of thermal insulation relative to cryogenic system design, testing, manufacturing, and maintenance are discussed. An overview of insulation development from an energy conservation perspective is given. Conventional insulation materials for cryogenic applications provide three levels of thermal conductivity. Actual thermal performance of standard multilayer insulation (MLI) is several times less than laboratory performance and often 10 times worse than ideal performance. The cost-effectiveness of the insulation system depends on thermal performance; flexibility and durability; ease of use in handling, installation, and maintenance; and overall cost including operations, maintenance, and life cycle. Results of comprehensive testing of both conventional and novel materials such as aerogel composites using cryostat boil-off methods are given. The development of efficient, robust cryogenic insulation systems that operate at a soft vacuum level is the primary focus of this paper.

  7. Method for producing hydrophobic aerogels

    SciTech Connect

    Hrubesh, Lawrence W.; Poco, John F.; Coronado, Paul R.

    1999-01-01

    A method for treating a dried monolithic aerogel containing non-dispersed particles, with an organometallic surface modifying agent to produce hydrophobic aerogels. The dried, porous hydrophobic aerogels contain a protective layer of alkyl groups, such as methyl groups, on the modified surfaces of the pores of the aerogel. The alkyl groups at the aerogel surface typically contain at least one carbon-metal bond per group.

  8. ITER convertible blanket evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, C.P.C.; Cheng, E.

    1995-09-01

    Proposed International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) convertible blankets were reviewed. Key design difficulties were identified. A new particle filter concept is introduced and key performance parameters estimated. Results show that this particle filter concept can satisfy all of the convertible blanket design requirements except the generic issue of Be blanket lifetime. If the convertible blanket is an acceptable approach for ITER operation, this particle filter option should be a strong candidate.

  9. Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Panek, John

    2010-01-01

    Polyimide aerogels with three-dimensional cross-linked structure are made using linear oligomeric segments of polyimide, and linked with one of the following into a 3D structure: trifunctional aliphatic or aromatic amines, latent reactive end caps such as nadic anhydride or phenylethynylphenyl amine, and silica or silsesquioxane cage structures decorated with amine. Drying the gels supercritically maintains the solid structure of the gel, creating a polyimide aerogel with improved mechanical properties over linear polyimide aerogels. Lightweight, low-density structures are desired for acoustic and thermal insulation for aerospace structures, habitats, astronaut equipment, and aeronautic applications. Aerogels are a unique material for providing such properties because of their extremely low density and small pore sizes. However, plain silica aerogels are brittle. Reinforcing the aerogel structure with a polymer (X-Aerogel) provides vast improvements in strength while maintaining low density and pore structure. However, degradation of polymers used in cross-linking tends to limit use temperatures to below 150 C. Organic aerogels made from linear polyimide have been demonstrated, but gels shrink substantially during supercritical fluid extraction and may have lower use temperature due to lower glass transition temperatures. The purpose of this innovation is to raise the glass transition temperature of all organic polyimide aerogel by use of tri-, tetra-, or poly-functional units in the structure to create a 3D covalently bonded network. Such cross-linked polyimides typically have higher glass transition temperatures in excess of 300 400 C. In addition, the reinforcement provided by a 3D network should improve mechanical stability, and prevent shrinkage on supercritical fluid extraction. The use of tri-functional aromatic or aliphatic amine groups in the polyimide backbone will provide such a 3D structure.

  10. Silica aerogel-polymer nanocomposites and new nanoparticle syntheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boday, Dylan Joseph

    Aerogels are extremely high surface area, low density materials with applications including thermal and acoustic insulators, radiation detectors and cometary dust particle traps. However, their low density and aggregate structure makes them extremely fragile and practically impossible to machine or handle without breaking. This has led to the development of aerogel composites with enhanced mechanical properties through the addition of polymers or surface modifiers. To date, attempts to strengthen aerogels have come with significant increases in density and processing time. Here I will describe our search for a solution to these problems with our invention using methyl cyanoacrylate chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to strengthen silica, aminated silica and bridged polysilsesquioxane aerogels. This approach led to a strength improvement of the composites within hours and the strongest composite prepared had a 100x strength improvement over the precursor aerogel. We also developed the first approach to control the molecular weight of the polymers that reinforce silica aerogels using surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). Although PMMA reinforcement of silica aerogels improved the mechanical properties, further strength improvements were achieved by cross-linking the grafted PMMA. Additionally, we developed the first silica aerogels reinforced with polyaniline nanofibers that were strong and electrically conductive. Reinforcing silica aerogels with polyaniline allowed them to be used as a sensor for the detection of protonating and deprotonating gaseous species. Finally we developed a new approach for the synthesis of silica and bridged polysilsesquioxane spheres using a surfactant free synthesis. This approach allowed for the first in-situ incorporation of base sensitive functionalities during the sol-gel polymerization.

  11. Effects of Microgravity on the Formation of Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, A. J.; Ayers, M. R.; Sibille, L.; Cronise, R. J.; Noever, D. A.

    1999-01-01

    presence of poorly controlled microporosity in aerogel leads to material non-uniformity that gives rise to increased light scattering. Investigation of the effect of gravity driven solute flows within microclusters and their effect on condensation and agglomeration reactions will enable us to improve the preparation and properties of aerogel. Increased clarity of images viewed through aerogel and decreased scattering from the pores of aerogel will significantly improve the prospects for large-scale adoption of aerogel in such applications as transparent insulating windows, high performance thermal insulation, and Cherenkov detectors.

  12. Materials for breeding blankets

    SciTech Connect

    Mattas, R.F.; Billone, M.C.

    1995-09-01

    There are several candidate concepts for tritium breeding blankets that make use of a number of special materials. These materials can be classified as Primary Blanket Materials, which have the greatest influence in determining the overall design and performance, and Secondary Blanket Materials, which have key functions in the operation of the blanket but are less important in establishing the overall design and performance. The issues associated with the blanket materials are specified and several examples of materials performance are given. Critical data needs are identified.

  13. Method of patterning an aerogel

    DOEpatents

    Reed, Scott T.

    2012-07-24

    A method for producing a pattern in an aerogel disposed as a coating on a substrate comprises exposing the aerogel coating to the vapors of a hydrophobic silane compound, masking the aerogel coating with a shadow photomask and irradiating the aerogel coating with ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. The exposure to UV through the shadow mask creates a pattern of hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions in the aerogel coating. Etching away the hydrophilic regions of the aerogel coating, preferably with a 1 molar solution of sodium hydroxide, leaves the unwetted and unetched hydrophobic regions of the aerogel layer on the substrate, replicating the pattern of the photomask. The hydrophobic aerogel pattern can be further exposed to UV irradiation if desired, to create a hydrophilic aerogel pattern.

  14. Polybenzoxazine aerogels: Synthesis, characterization, conversion to porous carbons, and energetic composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadik-Khanolkar, Shruti

    Aerogels are nanoporous, low-density bulk objects, consisting of three-dimensional assemblies of nanoparticle. Structured similarly, polymeric aerogels are emerging as a mechanically strong alternative to traditional silica aerogels, which are fragile. Amongst polymeric aerogels, those based on polybenzoxazine (PBO - a type of phenolic resin), are extremely robust and comprise an economic alternative to resorcinol-formaldehyde aerogels, also a class of phenolic resins, as the main source of carbon aerogels. The drawback of the PBO chemistry has been the long (days) processing time at high-temperatures (>130 °C). Herewith, we have developed an energy- and time-efficient process to PBO aerogels by inducing acid-catalyzed gelation at room-temperature completed in a few hours. The new aerogels are compared directly with their conventional counterparts and are found equivalent or better in terms of mechanical strength, thermal insulation value, surface area and carbonization yield. Hexahydrated iron chloride (FeCl3.6H2O) is a fairly strong Bronsted acid, which, based on the above, catalyzes formation interpenetrating networks of PBO and iron oxide nanoparticles (PBO-FeOx). Pyrolysis of that intimate mixture of a carbon source (PBO) and iron oxide undergoes smelting to highly porous (>90% v/v) monolithic metallic iron aerogels. The porous network was loaded with oxidizers (e.g., LiClO4) into a new class of energetic materials (thermites, explosives, pyrotechnics). The PBO aerogels developed here comprise a wide-base platform for use as thermal insulators in civil and transportation applications (PBO aerogels themselves), electrodes for fuel cells, lithium ion batteries (nanoporous carbons), catalysts and energetic materials (PBO-FeOx).

  15. Layered composite thermal insulation system for nonvacuum cryogenic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fesmire, J. E.

    2016-03-01

    A problem common to both space launch applications and cryogenic propulsion test facilities is providing suitable thermal insulation for complex cryogenic piping, tanks, and components that cannot be vacuum-jacketed or otherwise be broad-area-covered. To meet such requirements and provide a practical solution to the problem, a layered composite insulation system has been developed for nonvacuum applications and extreme environmental exposure conditions. Layered composite insulation system for extreme conditions (or LCX) is particularly suited for complex piping or tank systems that are difficult or practically impossible to insulate by conventional means. Consisting of several functional layers, the aerogel blanket-based system can be tailored to specific thermal and mechanical performance requirements. The operational principle of the system is layer-pairs working in combination. Each layer pair is comprised of a primary insulation layer and a compressible radiant barrier layer. Vacuum-jacketed piping systems, whether part of the ground equipment or the flight vehicle, typically include numerous terminations, disconnects, umbilical connections, or branches that must be insulated by nonvacuum means. Broad-area insulation systems, such as spray foam or rigid foam panels, are often the lightweight materials of choice for vehicle tanks, but the plumbing elements, feedthroughs, appurtenances, and structural supports all create "hot spot" areas that are not readily insulated by similar means. Finally, the design layouts of valve control skids used for launch pads and test stands can be nearly impossible to insulate because of their complexity and high density of components and instrumentation. Primary requirements for such nonvacuum thermal insulation systems include the combination of harsh conditions, including full weather exposure, vibration, and structural loads. Further requirements include reliability and the right level of system breathability for thermal

  16. Organic aerogel microspheres and fabrication method therefor

    DOEpatents

    Mayer, S.T.; Kong, F.M.; Pekala, R.W.; Kaschmitter, J.L.

    1996-04-16

    Organic aerogel microspheres which can be used in capacitors, batteries, thermal insulation, adsorption/filtration media, and chromatographic packings, having diameters ranging from about 1 micron to about 3 mm. The microspheres can be pyrolyzed to form carbon aerogel microspheres. This method involves stirring the aqueous organic phase in mineral oil at elevated temperature until the dispersed organic phase polymerizes and forms nonsticky gel spheres. The size of the microspheres depends on the collision rate of the liquid droplets and the reaction rate of the monomers from which the aqueous solution is formed. The collision rate is governed by the volume ratio of the aqueous solution to the mineral oil and the shear rate, while the reaction rate is governed by the chemical formulation and the curing temperature.

  17. Organic aerogel microspheres and fabrication method therefor

    DOEpatents

    Mayer, Steven T.; Kong, Fung-Ming; Pekala, Richard W.; Kaschmitter, James L.

    1996-01-01

    Organic aerogel microspheres which can be used in capacitors, batteries, thermal insulation, adsorption/filtration media, and chromatographic packings, having diameters ranging from about 1 micron to about 3 mm. The microspheres can be pyrolyzed to form carbon aerogel microspheres. This method involves stirring the aqueous organic phase in mineral oil at elevated temperature until the dispersed organic phase polymerizes and forms nonsticky gel spheres. The size of the microspheres depends on the collision rate of the liquid droplets and the reaction rate of the monomers from which the aqueous solution is formed. The collision rate is governed by the volume ratio of the aqueous solution to the mineral oil and the shear rate, while the reaction rate is governed by the chemical formulation and the curing temperature.

  18. Polyimide aerogels cross-linked through amine functionalized polyoligomeric silsesquioxane.

    PubMed

    Guo, Haiquan; Meador, Mary Ann B; McCorkle, Linda; Quade, Derek J; Guo, Jiao; Hamilton, Bart; Cakmak, Miko; Sprowl, Guilherme

    2011-02-01

    We report the first synthesis of polyimide aerogels cross-linked through a polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane, octa(aminophenyl)silsesquioxane (OAPS). Gels formed from polyamic acid solutions of 3,3',4,4'-biphenyltetracarboxylic dianhydride (BPDA), bisaniline-p-xylidene (BAX) and OAPS were chemically imidized and dried using supercritical CO(2) extraction to give aerogels having density around 0.1 g/cm(3). The aerogels are greater than 90 % porous, have high surface areas (230 to 280 m(2)/g) and low thermal conductivity (14 mW/m-K at room temperature). Notably, the polyimide aerogels cross-linked with OAPS have higher modulus than polymer reinforced silica aerogels of similar density and can be fabricated as both monoliths and thin films. Thin films of the aerogel are flexible and foldable making them an ideal insulation for space suits, and inflatable structures for habitats or decelerators for planetary re-entry, as well as more down to earth applications. PMID:21294517

  19. Silylation of low-density silica and bridged polysilsesquioxane aerogels

    SciTech Connect

    DeFriend, K. A.; Loy, D. A.; Salazar, K. V.; Wilson, K. V.

    2004-01-01

    Silica and bridged polysilsesquioxane aerogels are low-density materials that are attractive for applications such as thermal insulation, porous separation media or catalyst supports, adsorbents, and cometary dust capture agents. However, aerogels are notoriously weak and brittle making it difficult to handle and machine monoliths into desired forms. This complication prevents the development of many applications that would otherwise benefit from the use of the low-density materials. Here, we will describe our efforts to chemically modify and mechanically enhance silica-based aerogels using chemical vapor techniques without sacrificing their characteristic low densities. Monolithic silica and organic-bridged polysilsesquioxane aerogels were prepared by sol-gel polymerization of the respective methoxysilane monomers followed by supercritical carbon dioxide drying of the gels. Then the gels were reactively modified with silylating agents to demonstrate the viability of CVD modification of aerogels, and to determine the effects of silylation of surface silanols on the morphology, surface area, and mechanical properties of the resulting aerogels.

  20. Modeling silica aerogel optical performance by determining its radiative properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Lin; Yang, Sungwoo; Bhatia, Bikram; Strobach, Elise; Wang, Evelyn N.

    2016-02-01

    Silica aerogel has been known as a promising candidate for high performance transparent insulation material (TIM). Optical transparency is a crucial metric for silica aerogels in many solar related applications. Both scattering and absorption can reduce the amount of light transmitted through an aerogel slab. Due to multiple scattering, the transmittance deviates from the Beer-Lambert law (exponential attenuation). To better understand its optical performance, we decoupled and quantified the extinction contributions of absorption and scattering separately by identifying two sets of radiative properties. The radiative properties are deduced from the measured total transmittance and reflectance spectra (from 250 nm to 2500 nm) of synthesized aerogel samples by solving the inverse problem of the 1-D Radiative Transfer Equation (RTE). The obtained radiative properties are found to be independent of the sample geometry and can be considered intrinsic material properties, which originate from the aerogel's microstructure. This finding allows for these properties to be directly compared between different samples. We also demonstrate that by using the obtained radiative properties, we can model the photon transport in aerogels of arbitrary shapes, where an analytical solution is difficult to obtain.

  1. Comparative study of aerogels obtained from differently prepared nanocellulose fibers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wenshuai; Li, Qing; Wang, Youcheng; Yi, Xin; Zeng, Jie; Yu, Haipeng; Liu, Yixing; Li, Jian

    2014-01-01

    This article describes the fabrication of nanocellulose fibers (NCFs) with different morphologies and surface properties from biomass resources as well as their self-aggregation into lightweight aerogels. By carefully modulating the nanofibrillation process, four types of NCFs could be readily fabricated, including long aggregated nanofiber bundles, long individualized nanofibers with surface C6 -carboxylate groups, short aggregated nanofibers, and short individualized nanofibers with surface sulfate groups. Free-standing lightweight aerogels were obtained from the corresponding aqueous NCF suspensions through freeze-drying. The structure of the aerogels could be controlled by manipulating the type of NCFs and the concentration of their suspensions. A possible mechanism for the self-aggregation of NCFs into two- or three-dimensional aerogel nanostructures was further proposed. Owing to web-like structure, high porosity, and high surface reactivity, the NCF aerogels exhibited high mechanical flexibility and ductility, and excellent properties for water uptake, removal of dye pollutants, and the use as thermal insulation materials. The aerogels also displayed sound-adsorption capability at high frequencies. PMID:24420495

  2. Silica aerogel core waveguide.

    PubMed

    Grogan, M D W; Leon-Saval, S G; England, R; Birks, T A

    2010-10-11

    We have selectively filled the core of hollow photonic crystal fibre with silica aerogel. Light is guided in the aerogel core, with a measured attenuation of 0.2 dB/cm at 1540 nm comparable to that of bulk aerogel. The structure guides light by different mechanisms depending on the wavelength. At long wavelengths the effective index of the microstructured cladding is below the aerogel index of 1.045 and guidance is by total internal reflection. At short wavelengths, where the effective cladding index exceeds 1.045, a photonic bandgap can guide the light instead. There is a small region of crossover, where both index- and bandgap-guided modes were simultaneously observed. PMID:20941148

  3. Method of casting aerogels

    DOEpatents

    Poco, John F.

    1993-01-01

    The invention describes a method for making monolithic castings of transparent silica aerogel with densities in the range from 0.001 g/cm.sup.3 to 0.6 g/cm.sup.3. Various shapes of aerogels are cast in flexible polymer molds which facilitate removal and eliminate irregular surfaces. Mold dimensions are preselected to account for shrinkage of alcogel which occurs during the drying step of supercritical extraction of solvent.

  4. Facilitated fabrication of high strength silica aerogels using cellulose nanofibrils as scaffold.

    PubMed

    Fu, Jingjing; Wang, Siqun; He, Chunxia; Lu, Zexiang; Huang, Jingda; Chen, Zhilin

    2016-08-20

    Monolithic cellulose nanofibrils (CNF)-silica composite aerogels were successfully prepared by immersing CNF aerogels into a silica solution in a two-step sol-gel process (initial hydrolysis of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) followed by condensation of silica particles). Aerogels were characterized by SEM, BET surface area test, bulk density and silica content analysis, FTIR spectroscopy, and compression test. The form of SiO2 existing in the composite aerogel was the spherical individual particles coated on CNF fibrils. The pH value of condensation solution was found to have great influence on the properties of the composite aerogels. By varying the pH value of condensation atmosphere from 8 to 12, the bulk densities of composite aerogels were able to be linearly increased from 0.059gcm(-3) to 0.29gcm(-3),and the silica content in the matrix sharply jumped from 3wt% to 79wt%. The porosities of the aerogels remained very high, between 85 and 96%, and the surface area of the composite aerogel reached up to 700.1m(2)g(-1). The compression properties of the composite aerogel improved greatly compared with those of the silica aerogel, about 8-30 times higher. Moreover, the compressive strength of the composite aerogel prepared in this work greatly exceeded the conventional insulation materials found in the recent commercial market, and without substantial increases in thermal conductivity. Hence, the findings of this research offer a promising application for composite aerogels and give a theoretical basis for developing new advanced materials. PMID:27178912

  5. Photon-Refracting Aerogel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Daniel

    2012-10-01

    A threshold aerogel Cherenkov detector is being constructed at CUA to allow for the study of kaons in experiments at the Jefferson Laboratory. These subatomic particles move faster than light through the aerogel material, emitting Cherenkov radiation. Photomultiplier Tubes (PMTs) convert the photons from the Cherenkov radiation into electrons and multiply the electrons sufficiently to get a readable electronic signal, which can be analyzed. An important part of a threshold aerogel Cherenkov detector is its use of aerogel material of several refractive indices to cover the full dynamic range over which one wants to detect the particles of interest (in this case the kaon). Uniform coverage in refractive index is important as the location of the incoming particle will not be constant throughout the testing. In addition to testing for uniform coverage, we must also verify these refractive indices to ensure that the particles we are detecting are in fact kaons. The last test on the aerogel that needs to be performed is the measurement of transparency. Although aerogel is highly transparent, it is still necessary to find the amount of light being absorbed, reflected, or scattered versus how much will actually be measured by the PMTs used.

  6. Flexible Polyimide Aerogel Cross-linked by Poly(maleic Anhydride-alt-alkylene)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guo, Haiquan; Meador, Mary Ann B.; Wilkewitz, Brittany Marie

    2014-01-01

    Aerogels are potential materials for aerospace applications due to their lower thermal conductivity, lighter weight, and low dielectric constant. However, silica aerogels are restricted due to their inherent fragility, hygroscopic nature, and poor mechanical properties, especially in extreme aerospace environments. In order to fit the needs of aerospace applications, developing new thermal insulation materials that are flexible, and moisture resistant is needed. To this end, we fabricated a series of polyimide aerogels crosslinked with different poly(maleic anhydride-alt-alkylene)s as seen in Scheme 1. The polyimide oligomers were made with 3,3,4,4-biphenyltetracarboxylic dianhydride (BPDA), and different diamines or diamine combinations. The resulting aerogels have low density (0.06 gcm3 to 0.16 gcm3) and high surface area (240-440 m2g). The effect of the different backbone structures on density, shrinkage, porosity, surface area, mechanical properties, moisture resistance and thermal properties will be discussed. These novel polyalkylene-imide aerogels may be potential candidates for applications such as space suit insulation for planetary surface missions, insulation for inflatable structures for habitats, inflatable aerodynamic decelerators for entry, descent and landing (EDL) operations, and cryotank insulation for advance space propulsion systems. Scheme 1. Network of polyimide aerogels crosslinked with deifferent poly(maleic anhydride).

  7. High power density self-cooled lithium-vanadium blanket.

    SciTech Connect

    Gohar, Y.; Majumdar, S.; Smith, D.

    1999-07-01

    A self-cooled lithium-vanadium blanket concept capable of operating with 2 MW/m{sup 2} surface heat flux and 10 MW/m{sup 2} neutron wall loading has been developed. The blanket has liquid lithium as the tritium breeder and the coolant to alleviate issues of coolant breeder compatibility and reactivity. Vanadium alloy (V-4Cr-4Ti) is used as the structural material because it can accommodate high heat loads. Also, it has good mechanical properties at high temperatures, high neutron fluence capability, low degradation under neutron irradiation, good compatibility with the blanket materials, low decay heat, low waste disposal rating, and adequate strength to accommodate the electromagnetic loads during plasma disruption events. Self-healing electrical insulator (CaO) is utilized to reduce the MHD pressure drop. A poloidal coolant flow with high velocity at the first wall is used to reduce the peak temperature of the vanadium structure and to accommodate high surface heat flux. The blanket has a simple blanket configuration and low coolant pressure to reduce the fabrication cost, to improve the blanket reliability, and to increase confidence in the blanket performance. Spectral shifter, moderator, and reflector are utilized to improve the blanket shielding capability and energy multiplication, and to reduce the radial blanket thickness. Natural lithium is used to avoid extra cost related to the lithium enrichment process.

  8. Method of low pressure and/or evaporative drying of aerogel

    DOEpatents

    Mayer, Steven T.; Kaschmitter, James L.; Pekala, Richard W.

    1995-01-01

    A process whereby Resorcinol/Formaldehyde (RF) aerogel having a density of about 0.4-1.2 g/cc can be manufactured using a simple air drying procedure. This process is inherently simpler, quicker, and less expensive than the more conventional supercritical or subcritical CO.sub.2 extraction procedures. RF aerogels can be used as produced, such as in insulation applications, or pyrolyzed to form carbon aerogels with a density of about 0.9 g/cc for use in applications such as batteries, supercapacitors, etc.

  9. Method of low pressure and/or evaporative drying of aerogel

    DOEpatents

    Mayer, S.T.; Kaschmitter, J.L.; Pekala, R.W.

    1995-05-30

    A process is described whereby Resorcinol/Formaldehyde (RF) aerogel having a density of about 0.4--1.2 g/cc can be manufactured using a simple air drying procedure. This process is inherently simpler, quicker, and less expensive than the more conventional supercritical or subcritical CO{sub 2} extraction procedures. RF aerogels can be used as produced, such as in insulation applications, or pyrolyzed to form carbon aerogels with a density of about 0.9 g/cc for use in applications such as batteries, supercapacitors, etc.

  10. Bonding aerogels with polyurethanes

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, F.M.; Hoffman, D.M.

    1989-11-01

    Aerogels, porous silica glasses with ultra-fine cell size (30nm), are made by a solution gelation (sol-gel) process. The resulting gel is critical point dried to densities from 0.15--0.60 g/cc. This material is machinable, homogeneous, transparent, coatable and bondable. To bond aerogel an adhesive should have long cure time, no attack on the aerogel structure, and high strength. Several epoxies and urethanes were examined to determine if they satisfied these conditions. Bond strengths above 13 psi were found with double bubble and DP-110 epoxies and XI-208/ODA-1000 and Castall U-2630 urethanes. Hardman Kalex Tough Stuff'' A-85 hardness urethane gave 18 psi bond strength. Hardman A-85, Tuff-Stuff'' was selected for further evaluation because it produced bond strengths comparable to the adherend cohesive strength. 5 refs., 2 figs.

  11. Surge current and electron swarm tunnel tests of thermal blanket and ground strap materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffmaster, D. K.; Inouye, G. T.; Sellen, J. M., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    The results are described of a series of current conduction tests with a thermal control blanket to which grounding straps have been attached. The material and the ground strap attachment procedure are described. The current conduction tests consisted of a surge current examination of the ground strap and a dilute flow, energetic electron deposition and transport through the bulk of the insulating film of this thermal blanket material. Both of these test procedures were used previously with thermal control blanket materials.

  12. Study on Thermal Conductivities of Aromatic Polyimide Aerogels.

    PubMed

    Feng, Junzong; Wang, Xin; Jiang, Yonggang; Du, Dongxuan; Feng, Jian

    2016-05-25

    Polyimide aerogels for low density thermal insulation materials were produced by 4,4'-diaminodiphenyl ether and 3,3',4,4'-biphenyltetracarboxylic dianhydride, cross-linked with 1,3,5-triaminophenoxybenzene. The densities of obtained polyimide aerogels are between 0.081 and 0.141 g cm(-3), and the specific surface areas are between 288 and 322 m(2) g(-1). The thermal conductivities were measured by a Hot Disk thermal constant analyzer. The value of the measured thermal conductivity under carbon dioxide atmosphere is lower than that under nitrogen atmosphere. Under pressure of 5 Pa at -130 °C, the thermal conductivity is the lowest, which is 8.42 mW (m K)(-1). The polyimide aerogels have lower conductivity [30.80 mW (m K)(-1)], compared to the value for other organic foams (polyurethane foam, phenolic foam, and polystyrene foam) with similar apparent densities under ambient pressure at 25 °C. The results indicate that polyimide aerogel is an ideal insulation material for aerospace and other applications. PMID:27149155

  13. Aerogel Fingerprint Media

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Fred S.; Andresen, Brian D.

    1999-09-21

    A fingerprint medium which is made of an aerogel having a predetermined density. The fingerprint medium may have a midrange density for forming plates or may be crushed forming a powder. The fingerprint medium may further include at least one of a metal and metal oxide to enhance characteristics desirable in a fingerprint medium.

  14. Blanket technology workshop report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott-Monck, J. A.

    1980-01-01

    The solar array blanket, defined as a substrate covered with interconnected and glassed solar cells, but excluding the necessary support structure, deployment, and orientation devices is considered. The interactions between the blanket and the structure that is used to package, deploy, support and, if necessary restow it, are addressed along with systems constraints such as spacecraft configuration, size, and payload requirements. The influence on blanket design is emphasized. The three main mission classes considered are low Earth orbital (LEO), intermediate, or LEO to GEO transfer, and geosynchronous (GEO). Although interplanetary missions could be considered to be a separate class, their requirements, primarily power per unit mass, are generally close enough to geosynchronous missions to allow this mission class to be included within the third type. Examination of the critical elements of each class coupled with considerations of the shuttle capabilities is used to define the type of blanket technology most likely required to support missions that will be flown starting in 1990.

  15. US technical report for the ITER blanket/shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Three solid-breeder water-cooled blanket concepts have been developed for ITER based on a multilayer configuration. The primary difference among the concepts is in the fabricated form of breeder and multiplier. All the concepts have beryllium for neutron multiplication and solid-breeder temperature control. The blanket design does not use helium gaps or insulator material to control the solid breeder temperature. Lithium oxide (Li2O) and lithium zirconate (Li2ZrO3) are the primary and the backup breeder materials, respectively. The lithium-6 enrichment is 95%. The use of high lithium-6 enrichment reduces the solid breeder volume required in the blanket and consequently the total tritium inventory in the solid breeder material. Also, it increases the blanket capability to accommodate power variation. The multilayer blanket configuration can accommodate up to a factor of two change in the neutron wall loading without violating the different design guidelines. The blanket material forms are sintered products and packed bed of small pebbles. The first concept has a sintered product material (blocks) for both the beryllium multiplier and the solid breeder. The second concept, the common ITER blanket, uses a packed bed breeder and beryllium blocks. The last concept is similar to the first except for the first and the last beryllium zones. Two small layers of beryllium pebbles are located behind the first wall and the back of the last beryllium zone to reduce the total inventory of the beryllium material and to improve the blanket performance. The design philosophy adopted for the blanket is to produce the necessary tritium required for the ITER operation and to operate at power reactor conditions as much as possible. Also, the reliability and the safety aspects of the blanket are enhanced by using low-pressure water coolant and the separation of the tritium purge flow from the coolant system by several barriers.

  16. MHD considerations for a self-cooled liquid lithium blanket

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sze, D. K.; Mattas, R. F.; Hull, A. B.; Picologlou, B. F.; Smith, D. L.

    1992-03-01

    The magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects can present a feasibility issue for a self-cooled liquid metal blanket of magnetically confined fusion reactors, especially the inboard regime of a tokamak. This pressure drop can be significantly reduced by using an insulated wall structure. A self-healing insulating coating has been identified, which will reduce the pressure drop by more than a factor of 10. The future research direction to further quantify the performance of this coating is also outlined.

  17. X-Aerogels for Structural Components and High Temperature Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Future NASA missions and space explorations rely on the use of materials that are strong ultra lightweight and able to withstand extreme temperatures. Aerogels are low density (0.01-0.5 g/cu cm) high porosity materials that contain a glass like structure formed through standard sol-gel chemistry. As a result of these structural properties, aerogels are excellent thermal insulators and are able to withstand temperatures in excess of l,000 C. The open structure of aerogels, however, renders these materials extremely fragile (fracturing at stress forces less than 0.5 N/sq cm). The goal of NASA Glenn Research Center is to increase the strength of these materials by templating polymers and metals onto the surface of an aerogel network facilitating the use of this material for practical applications such as structural components of space vehicles used in exploration. The work this past year focused on two areas; (1) the research and development of new templated aerogels materials and (2) process development for future manufacturing of structural components. Research and development occurred on the production and characterization of new templating materials onto the standard silica aerogel. Materials examined included polymers such as polyimides, fluorinated isocyanates and epoxies, and, metals such as silver, gold and platinum. The final properties indicated that the density of the material formed using an isocyanate is around 0.50 g/cc with a strength greater than that of steel and has low thermal conductivity. The process used to construct these materials is extremely time consuming and labor intensive. One aspect of the project involved investigating the feasibility of shortening the process time by preparing the aerogels in the templating solvent. Traditionally the polymerization used THF as the solvent and after several washes to remove any residual monomers and water, the solvent around the aerogels was changed to acetonitrile for the templating step. This process

  18. Performance of uncoated AFRSI blankets during multiple Space Shuttle flights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawko, Paul M.; Goldstein, Howard E.

    1992-04-01

    Uncoated Advanced Flexible Reusable Surface Insulation (AFRSI) blankets were successfully flown on seven consecutive flights of the Space Shuttle Orbiter OV-099 (Challenger). In six of the eight locations monitored (forward windshield, forward canopy, mid-fuselage, upper wing, rudder/speed brake, and vertical tail) the AFRSI blankets performed well during the ascent and reentry exposure to the thermal and aeroacoustic environments. Several of the uncoated AFRSI blankets that sustained minor damage, such as fraying or broken threads, could be repaired by sewing or by patching with a surface coating called C-9. The chief reasons for replacing or completely coating a blanket were fabric embrittlement and fabric abrasion caused by wind erosion. This occurred in the orbiter maneuvering system (OMS) pod sidewall and the forward mid-fuselage locations.

  19. U.S. technical report for the ITER blanket/shield: A. blanket: Topical report, July 1990--November 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1995-01-01

    Three solid-breeder water-cooled blanket concepts have been developed for ITER based on a multilayer configuration. The primary difference among the concepts is in the fabricated form of breeder and multiplier. All the concepts have beryllium for neutron multiplication and solid-breeder temperature control. The blanket design does not use helium gaps or insulator material to control the solid breeder temperature. Lithium oxide (Li{sub 2}O) and lithium zirconate (Li{sub 2}ZrO{sub 3}) are the primary and the backup breeder materials, respectively. The lithium-6 enrichment is 95%. The use of high lithium-6 enrichment reduces the solid breeder volume required in the blanket and consequently the total tritium inventory in the solid breeder material. Also, it increases the blanket capability to accommodate power variation. The multilayer blanket configuration can accommodate up to a factor of two change in the neutron wall loading without violating the different design guidelines. The blanket material forms are sintered products and packed bed of small pebbles. The first concept has a sintered product material (blocks) for both the beryllium multiplier and the solid breeder. The second concept, the common ITER blanket, uses a packed bed breeder and beryllium blocks. The last concept is similar to the first except for the first and the last beryllium zones. Two small layers of beryllium pebbles are located behind the first wall and the back of the last beryllium zone to reduce the total inventory of the beryllium material and to improve the blanket performance. The design philosophy adopted for the blanket is to produce the necessary tritium required for the ITER operation and to operate at power reactor conditions as much as possible. Also, the reliability and the safety aspects of the blanket are enhanced by using low-pressure water coolant and the separation of the tritium purge flow from the coolant system by several barriers.

  20. Preliminary Analysis of Liquid Metal MHD Pressure Drop in the Blanket for the FDS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hong-yan; Wu, Yi-can; He, Xiao-xong

    2002-10-01

    Preliminary analysis and calculation of liquid metal Li17Pb83 magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) pressure drop in the blanket for the FDS have been presented to evaluate the significance of MHD effects on the thermal-hydraulic design of the blanket. To decrease the liquid metal MHD pressure drop, Al2O3 is applied as an electronically insulated coating onto the inner surface of the ducts. The requirement for the insulated coating to reduce the additional leakage pressure drop caused by coating imperfections has been analyzed. Finally, the total liquid metal MHD pressure drop and magnetic pump power in the FDS blanket have been given.

  1. Method for producing metal oxide aerogels having densities less than 0.02 g/cc

    DOEpatents

    Tillotson, Thomas M.; Poco, John F.; Hrubesh, Lawrence W.; Thomas, Ian M.

    1994-01-01

    A two-step method is described for making transparent aerogels which have a density of less than 0.003 g/cm.sup.3 to those with a density of more than 0.8 g/cm.sup.3, by a sol/gel process and supercritical extraction. Condensed metal oxide intermediate made with purified reagents can be diluted to produce stable aerogels with a density of less than 0.02 g/cm.sup.3. High temperature, direct supercritical extraction of the liquid phase of the gel produces hydrophobic aerogels which are stable at atmospheric moisture conditions. Monolithic, homogeneous silica aerogels with a density of less than 0.02 to higher than 0.8 g/cm.sup.3, with high thermal insulation capacity, improved mechanical strength and good optical transparency, are described.

  2. Method for producing metal oxide aerogels having densities less than 0. 02 g/cc

    DOEpatents

    Tillotson, T.M.; Poco, J.F.; Hrubesh, L.W.; Thomas, I.M.

    1994-01-04

    A two-step method is described for making transparent aerogels which have a density of less than 0.003 g/cm[sup 3] to those with a density of more than 0.8 g/cm[sup 3], by a sol/gel process and supercritical extraction. Condensed metal oxide intermediate made with purified reagents can be diluted to produce stable aerogels with a density of less than 0.02 g/cm[sup 3]. High temperature, direct supercritical extraction of the liquid phase of the gel produces hydrophobic aerogels which are stable at atmospheric moisture conditions. Monolithic, homogeneous silica aerogels with a density of less than 0.02 to higher than 0.8 g/cm[sup 3], with high thermal insulation capacity, improved mechanical strength and good optical transparency, are described. 7 figures.

  3. Organic aerogels from the sol-gel polymerization of phenolic-furfural mixtures

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, Richard W.

    1995-01-01

    The sol-gel polymerization of a phenolic-furfural mixture in dilute solution leads to a highly cross-linked network that can be supercritically dried to form a high surface area foam. These porous materials have cell/pore sizes.ltoreq.1000.ANG., and although they are dark brown in color, they can be classified as a new type of aerogel. The phenolic-furfural aerogel can be pyrolyzed in an inert atmosphere at 1050.degree. C. to produce carbon aerogels. This new aerogel may be used for thermal insulation, chromatographic packing, water filtration, ion-exchange, and carbon electrodes for energy storage devices, such as batteries and double-layer capacitors.

  4. Organic carbon aerogels from the sol-gel polymerization of phenolic-furfural mixtures

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, Richard W.

    1998-04-28

    The sol-gel polymerization of a phenolic-furfural mixture in dilute solution leads to a highly cross-linked network that can be supercritically dried to form a high surface area foam. These porous materials have cell/pore sizes .ltoreq.1000 .ANG., and although they are dark brown in color, they can be classified as a new type of aerogel. The phenolic-furfural aerogel can be pyrolyzed in an inert atmosphere at 1050.degree. C. to produce carbon aerogels. This new aerogel may be used for thermal insulation, chromatographic packing, water filtration, ion-exchange, and carbon electrodes for energy storage devices, such as batteries and double-layer capacitors.

  5. Organic aerogels from the sol-gel polymerization of phenolic-furfural mixtures

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, Richard W.

    1996-01-01

    The sol-gel polymerization of a phenolic-furfural mixture in dilute solution leads to a highly cross-linked network that can be supercritically dried to form a high surface area foam. These porous materials have cell/pore sizes .ltoreq.1000.ANG., and although they are dark brown in color, they can be classified as a new type of aerogel. The phenolic-furfural aerogel can be pyrolyzed in an inert atmosphere at 1050.degree. C. to produce carbon aerogels. This new aerogel may be used for thermal insulation, chromatographic packing, water filtration, ion-exchange, and carbon electrodes for energy storage devices, such as batteries and double-layer capacitors.

  6. Organic aerogels from the sol-gel polymerization of phenolic-furfural mixtures

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, R.W.

    1996-09-17

    The sol-gel polymerization of a phenolic-furfural mixture in dilute solution leads to a highly cross-linked network that can be supercritically dried to form a high surface area foam. These porous materials have cell/pore sizes {<=}1,000{angstrom}, and although they are dark brown in color, they can be classified as a new type of aerogel. The phenolic-furfural aerogel can be pyrolyzed in an inert atmosphere at 1,050 C to produce carbon aerogels. This new aerogel may be used for thermal insulation, chromatographic packing, water filtration, ion-exchange, and carbon electrodes for energy storage devices, such as batteries and double-layer capacitors. 8 figs.

  7. Organic aerogels from the sol-gel polymerization of phenolic-furfural mixtures

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, R.W.

    1995-12-19

    The sol-gel polymerization of a phenolic-furfural mixture in dilute solution leads to a highly cross-linked network that can be supercritically dried to form a high surface area foam. These porous materials have cell/pore sizes{<=}1000{angstrom}, and although they are dark brown in color, they can be classified as a new type of aerogel. The phenolic-furfural aerogel can be pyrolyzed in an inert atmosphere at 1050 C to produce carbon aerogels. This new aerogel may be used for thermal insulation, chromatographic packing, water filtration, ion-exchange, and carbon electrodes for energy storage devices, such as batteries and double-layer capacitors. 8 figs.

  8. Organic carbon aerogels from the sol-gel polymerization of phenolic-furfural mixtures

    DOEpatents

    Pekala, R.W.

    1998-04-28

    The sol-gel polymerization of a phenolic-furfural mixture in dilute solution leads to a highly cross-linked network that can be supercritically dried to form a high surface area foam. These porous materials have cell/pore sizes {<=}1000 {angstrom}, and although they are dark brown in color, they can be classified as a new type of aerogel. The phenolic-furfural aerogel can be pyrolyzed in an inert atmosphere at 1050 C to produce carbon aerogels. This new aerogel may be used for thermal insulation, chromatographic packing, water filtration, ion-exchange, and carbon electrodes for energy storage devices, such as batteries and double-layer capacitors. 8 figs.

  9. Metal Nanoparticle Aerogel Composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David D.; Sibille, Laurent; Ignont, Erica; Snow, Lanee; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    We have fabricated sol-gels containing gold and silver nanoparticles. Formation of an aerogel produces a blue shift in the surface plasmon resonance as a result of the decrease in the dielectric constant of the matrix upon supercritical extraction of the solvent. However, as a result of chemical interface damping this blue shift does not obey effective medium theories. Annealing the samples in a reducing atmosphere at 400 C eliminates this discrepancy and results in narrowing and further blue shifting of the plasmon resonance. Metal particle aggregation also results in a deviation from the predictions of effective medium theories, but can be controlled through careful handling and by avoiding the use of alcohol. By applying effective medium theories to the heterogeneous interlayer surrounding each metal particle, we extend the technique of immersion spectroscopy to inhomogeneous materials characterized by spatially dependent dielectric constants, such as aerogels. We demonstrate that the shift in the surface plasmon wavelength provides the average fractional composition of each component (air and silica) in this inhomogeneous layer, i.e. the porosity of the aerogel or equivalently, for these materials, the catalytic dispersion. Additionally, the kinetics suggest that collective particle interactions in coagulated metal clusters are perturbed during silica gelation resulting in a change in the aggregate geometry.

  10. ITER breeding blanket design

    SciTech Connect

    Gohar, Y.; Cardella, A.; Ioki, K.; Lousteau, D.; Mohri, K.; Raffray, R.; Zolti, E.

    1995-12-31

    A breeding blanket design has been developed for ITER to provide the necessary tritium fuel to achieve the technical objectives of the Enhanced Performance Phase. It uses a ceramic breeder and water coolant for compatibility with the ITER machine design of the Basic Performance Phase. Lithium zirconate and lithium oxide am the selected ceramic breeders based on the current data base. Enriched lithium and beryllium neutron multiplier are used for both breeders. Both forms of beryllium material, blocks and pebbles are used at different blanket locations based on thermo-mechanical considerations and beryllium thickness requirements. Type 316LN austenitic steel is used as structural material similar to the shielding blanket. Design issues and required R&D data are identified during the development of the design.

  11. Production of hollow aerogel microspheres

    SciTech Connect

    Upadhye, R.S.; Henning, S.A.

    1990-12-31

    A method is described for making hollow aerogel microspheres of 800--1200{mu} diameter and 100--300{mu} wall thickness by forming hollow alcogel microspheres during the sol/gel process in a catalytic atmosphere and capturing them on a foam surface containing catalyst. Supercritical drying of the formed hollow alcogel microspheres yields hollow aerogel microspheres which are suitable for ICF targets.

  12. Production of hollow aerogel microspheres

    DOEpatents

    Upadhye, Ravindra S.; Henning, Sten A.

    1993-01-01

    A method is described for making hollow aerogel microspheres of 800-1200 .mu. diameter and 100-300 .mu. wall thickness by forming hollow alcogel microspheres during the sol/gel process in a catalytic atmosphere and capturing them on a foam surface containing catalyst. Supercritical drying of the formed hollow alcogel microspheres yields hollow aerogel microspheres which are suitable for ICF targets.

  13. Synthesis and Properties of Cross-Linked Polyamide Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Jarrod C.; Meador, Mary Ann; McCorkle, Linda

    2015-01-01

    We report the first synthesis of cross-linked polyamide aerogels through step growth polymerization using a combination of diamines, diacid chloride and triacid chloride. Polyamide oligomers endcapped with amines are prepared as stable solutions in N-methylpyrrolidinone from several different diamine precursors and 1,3-benzenedicarbonyl dichloride. Addition of 1,3,5-benzenetricarbonyl trichloride yields gels which form in under five minutes according to the scheme shown. Solvent exchange of the gels into ethanol, followed by drying using supercritical CO2 extraction gives colorless aerogels with densities around 0.1 to 0.2 gcm3. Thicker monolithes of the polyamide aerogels are stiff and strong, while thin films of certain formulations are highly flexible, durable, and even translucent. These materials may have use as insulation for deployable space structures, rovers, habitats or extravehicular activity suits as well as in many terrestrial applications. Strucure property relationships of the aerogels, including surface area, mechanical properties, and thermal conductivity will be discussed.

  14. Nanoencapsulated aerogels produced by monomer vapor deposition and polymerization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sullivan, Thomas A. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    Polymer coated aerogel comprising aerogel substrate comprising a substantially uniform polymer coating. In an embodiment, the polymer coated aerogel is comprised of a porosity and has a compressive modulus greater than the compressive modulus of the aerogel substrate.

  15. U.S. Plans and Strategy for ITER Blanket Testing

    SciTech Connect

    Abdou, M.; Sze, D.; Wong, C.; Sawan, M.; Ying, A.; Morley, N.B.; Malang, S

    2005-04-15

    Testing blanket concepts in the integrated fusion environment is one of the principal objectives of ITER. Blanket test modules will be inserted in ITER from Day 1 of its operation and will provide the first experimental data on the feasibility of the D-T cycle for fusion. With the US rejoining ITER, the US community has decided to have strong participation in the ITER Test Blanket Module (TBM) Program. A US strategy for ITER-TBM has evolved that emphasizes international collaboration. A study was initiated to select the two blanket options for the US ITER-TBM in light of new R and D results from the US and world programs over the past decade. The study is led by the Plasma Chamber community in partnership with the Materials, PFC, Safety, and physics communities. The study focuses on assessment of the critical feasibility issues for candidate blanket concepts and it is strongly coupled to R and D of modeling and experiments. Examples of issues are MHD insulators, SiC insert viability and compatibility with PbLi, tritium permeation, MHD effects on heat transfer, solid breeder 'temperature window' and thermomechanics, and chemistry control of molten salts. A dual coolant liquid breeder and a helium-cooled solid breeder blanket concept have been selected for the US ITER-TBM.

  16. Thermal Insulation Strips Conserve Energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    Launching the space shuttle involves an interesting paradox: While the temperatures inside the shuttle s main engines climb higher than 6,000 F hot enough to boil iron for fuel, the engines use liquid hydrogen, the second coldest liquid on Earth after liquid helium. Maintained below 20 K (-423 F), the liquid hydrogen is contained in the shuttle s rust-colored external tank. The external tank also contains liquid oxygen (kept below a somewhat less chilly 90 K or -297 F) that combines with the hydrogen to create an explosive mixture that along with the shuttle s two, powdered aluminum-fueled solid rocket boosters allows the shuttle to escape Earth s gravity. The cryogenic temperatures of the main engines liquid fuel can cause ice, frost, or liquefied air to build up on the external tank and other parts of the numerous launch fueling systems, posing a possible debris risk when the ice breaks off during launch and causing difficulties in the transfer and control of these cryogenic liquid propellants. Keeping the fuel at the necessary ultra-cold temperatures while minimizing ice buildup and other safety hazards, as well as reducing the operational maintenance costs, has required NASA to explore innovative ways for providing superior thermal insulation systems. To address the challenge, the Agency turned to an insulating technology so effective that, even though it is mostly air, a thin sheet can prevent a blowtorch from igniting a match. Aerogels were invented in 1931 and demonstrate properties that make them the most extraordinary insulating materials known; a 1-inch-thick piece of aerogel provides the same insulation as layering 15 panes of glass with air pockets in between. Derived from silica, aluminum oxide, or carbon gels using a supercritical drying process - resulting in a composition of almost 99-percent air - aerogels are the world s lightest solid (among 15 other titles they hold in the Guinness World Records), can float indefinitely on water if treated to be

  17. Reflecting layers reduce weight of insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, J. D.; Schlessinger, E. D.; Rockoff, H. J.

    1981-01-01

    Metalized films placed between layers of fibrous material maintain equivalent thermal conductivity while cutting blanket density in half. Tests indicate that insulation with 1 lb/cu ft density with goldized films has thermal conductivity equal to 2 lb/cu ft of conventional insulation. Concept reduces weight in commercial aircraft and increases cargo space.

  18. Structural heat pipe. [for spacecraft wall thermal insulation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ollendorf, S. (Inventor)

    1974-01-01

    A combined structural reinforcing element and heat transfer member is disclosed for placement between a structural wall and an outer insulation blanket. The element comprises a heat pipe, one side of which supports the outer insulation blanket, the opposite side of which is connected to the structural wall. Heat penetrating through the outer insulation blanket directly reaches the heat pipe and is drawn off, thereby reducing thermal gradients in the structural wall. The element, due to its attachment to the structural wall, further functions as a reinforcing member.

  19. Aerogel Projects Ongoing in MSFC's Engineering Directorate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shular, D. A.; Smithers, G. A.; Plawsky, J. L.

    2001-01-01

    When we speak of an aerogel material, we are referring more to process and structure than to a specific substance. Aerogel, considered the lightest solid material, has been made from silica for seventy years. Resorcinol-formaldehyde, organic aerogels have been developed more recently. However, aerogel can be made from almost any type of substance, even lead. Because an aerogel is mostly air (about 99%), the solid substance used will affect the weight very little. The problem with aerogels is their low tensile strength and lack of elasticity. Therefore, the challenge is to find ways to make the stronger or ways to circumvent the strength issue. Organic aerogels have slightly higher strength than base silica aerogels, while the carbonized version has three to five times the break strength of the base aerogel.

  20. Optothermal nonlinearity of silica aerogel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braidotti, Maria Chiara; Gentilini, Silvia; Fleming, Adam; Samuels, Michiel C.; Di Falco, Andrea; Conti, Claudio

    2016-07-01

    We report on the characterization of silica aerogel thermal optical nonlinearity, obtained by z-scan technique. The results show that typical silica aerogels have nonlinear optical coefficient similar to that of glass (≃10-12 m2/W), with negligible optical nonlinear absorption. The nonlinear coefficient can be increased to values in the range of 10-10 m2/W by embedding an absorbing dye in the aerogel. This value is one order of magnitude higher than that observed in the pure dye and in typical highly nonlinear materials like liquid crystals.

  1. Super-hydrophobic fluorine containing aerogels

    SciTech Connect

    Coronado, Paul R.; Poco, John F.; Hrubesh, Lawrence W.

    2007-05-01

    An aerogel material with surfaces containing fluorine atoms which exhibits exceptional hydrophobicity, or the ability to repel liquid water. Hydrophobic aerogels are efficient absorbers of solvents from water. Solvents miscible with water are separated from it because the solvents are more volatile than water and they enter the porous aerogel as a vapor across the liquid water/solid interface. Solvents that are immisicble with water are separated from it by selectively wetting the aerogel. The hydrophobic property is achieved by formulating the aerogel using fluorine containing molecules either directly by addition in the sol-gel process, or by treating a standard dried aerogel using the vapor of fluorine containing molecules.

  2. Monolayer coated aerogels and method of making

    SciTech Connect

    Zemanian, Thomas Samuel; Fryxell, Glen; Ustyugov, Oleksiy A.

    2006-03-28

    Aerogels having a monolayer coating are described. The aerogel and a monolayer forming precursor are provided in a supercritical fluid, whereupon the aerogel and the monolayer forming precursor are reacted in said supercritical fluid to form a covalent bond between the aerogel and the monolayer forming precursor. Suitable aerogels are ceramic oxides such as silica, alumina, aluminosilicate, and combinations thereof. Suitable monolayer forming precursors include alkyl silanes, chlorosilanes, boranes, chloroboranes, germanes, and combinations thereof. The method may also include providing a surface preparation agent such as water, or hydroetching an aerogel to enhance the coating of the monolayer.

  3. Ultralight nanofibre-assembled cellular aerogels with superelasticity and multifunctionality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Si, Yang; Yu, Jianyong; Tang, Xiaomin; Ge, Jianlong; Ding, Bin

    2014-12-01

    Three-dimensional nanofibrous aerogels (NFAs) that are both highly compressible and resilient would have broad technological implications for areas ranging from electrical devices and bioengineering to damping materials; however, creating such NFAs has proven extremely challenging. Here we report a novel strategy to create fibrous, isotropically bonded elastic reconstructed (FIBER) NFAs with a hierarchical cellular structure and superelasticity by combining electrospun nanofibres and the fibrous freeze-shaping technique. Our approach causes the intrinsically lamellar deposited electrospun nanofibres to assemble into elastic bulk aerogels with tunable densities and desirable shapes on a large scale. The resulting FIBER NFAs exhibit densities of >0.12 mg cm-3, rapid recovery from deformation, efficient energy absorption and multifunctionality in terms of the combination of thermal insulation, sound absorption, emulsion separation and elasticity-responsive electric conduction. The successful synthesis of such fascinating materials may provide new insights into the design and development of multifunctional NFAs for various applications.

  4. Ultralight nanofibre-assembled cellular aerogels with superelasticity and multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Si, Yang; Yu, Jianyong; Tang, Xiaomin; Ge, Jianlong; Ding, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Three-dimensional nanofibrous aerogels (NFAs) that are both highly compressible and resilient would have broad technological implications for areas ranging from electrical devices and bioengineering to damping materials; however, creating such NFAs has proven extremely challenging. Here we report a novel strategy to create fibrous, isotropically bonded elastic reconstructed (FIBER) NFAs with a hierarchical cellular structure and superelasticity by combining electrospun nanofibres and the fibrous freeze-shaping technique. Our approach causes the intrinsically lamellar deposited electrospun nanofibres to assemble into elastic bulk aerogels with tunable densities and desirable shapes on a large scale. The resulting FIBER NFAs exhibit densities of >0.12 mg cm(-3), rapid recovery from deformation, efficient energy absorption and multifunctionality in terms of the combination of thermal insulation, sound absorption, emulsion separation and elasticity-responsive electric conduction. The successful synthesis of such fascinating materials may provide new insights into the design and development of multifunctional NFAs for various applications. PMID:25512095

  5. Blanket integrated blocking diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uebele, P.; Kasper, C.; Rasch, K.-D.

    1986-11-01

    Two types of large area protection diodes for integration in solar arrays were developed in planar technology. For application in a bus voltage concept of V sub bus = 80 V a p-doped blanket integrated blocking diode (p-IBD) was developed with V sub rev = 120 V, whereas for the high voltage concept of V sub bus = 160 V a n-IBD with V sub rev = 250 V was developed. Application as blanket integrated shunt diodes is recommended. The optimized rearside diffusion provides a low forward voltage drop in the temperature range of minus 100 to plus 150 C. As a consequence of planar technology metallized coverglasses have to be used to minimize the photocurrent.

  6. Fusion Blanket Development in FDF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, C. P. C.; Smith, J. P.; Stambaugh, R. D.

    2008-11-01

    To satisfy the electricity and tritium self-sufficiency missions of a Fusion Development Facility (FDF), suitable blanket designs will need to be evaluated, selected and developed. To demonstrate closure of the fusion fuel cycle, 2-3 main tritium breeding blankets will be used to cover most of the available chamber surface area in order to reach the project goal of achieving a tritium breeding ratio, TBR > 1. To demonstrate the feasibility of electricity and tritium production for subsequent devices such as the fusion demonstration power reactor (DEMO), several advanced test blankets will need to be selected and tested on the FDF to demonstrate high coolant outlet temperature necessary for efficient electricity production. Since the design goals for the main and test blankets are different, the design criteria of these blankets will also be different. The considerations in performing the evaluation of blanket and structural material options in concert with the maintenance approach for the FDF will be reported in this paper.

  7. Hypervelocity capture of particles in aerogel: Dependence on aerogel properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burchell, M. J.; Fairey, S. A. J.; Foster, N. J.; Cole, M. J.

    2009-01-01

    Capture of high-speed (hypervelocity) particles in aerogel at ambient temperatures of 175-763 K is reported. This extends previous work which has mostly focussed on conducting experiments at ambient laboratory temperatures, even though aerogels are intended for use in cosmic dust capture cells in space environments which may experience a range of temperatures (e.g., the NASA Stardust mission which collected dust at 1.81 AU and putative Mars atmospheric sampling missions). No significant change in track length (normalised to impactor size) was found over the range 175-600 K, although at 763 K a significant reduction (30%) was found. By contrast, entrance hole diameter remained constant only up to 400 K, above this sudden changes of up to 50% were observed. Experiments were also carried out at normal laboratory temperature using a wide range of aerogel densities and particle sizes. It was found that track length normalised to particle size varies inversely with aerogel density. This is a power law dependence and not linear as previously reported, with longer tracks at lower densities. Glass projectiles (up to 100 μm size) were found to undergo a variety of degrees of damage during capture. In addition to the well known acquisition of a coating (partial or complete) of molten aerogel the mechanical damage includes pitting and meridian fractures. Larger (500 μm diameter) stainless steel spheres also showed damage during capture. In this case melting and ablation occurs, suggesting surficial temperatures during impact in excess of 1400 °C. The response of the aerogel itself to passage of particles through it is reported. The presence of fan-like fractures around the tracks is attributed to cone cracking similar to that in glasses of normal density, with the difference that here it is a repetitive process as the particles pass through the aerogel.

  8. High Temperature Aerogels in the Al2O3-SiO2 System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurwitz, Frances I.; Aranda, Denisse V.; Gallagher, Meghan E.

    2008-01-01

    Al2O3-SiO2 aerogels are of interest as constituents of thermal insulation systems for use at high temperatures. Al2O3 and mullite aerogels are expected to crystallize at higher temperatures than their SiO2 counterparts, hence avoiding the shrinkages that accompany the formation of lower temperature SiO2 phases and preserving pore structures into higher temperature regimes. The objective of this work is to determine the influence of processing parameters on shrinkage, gel structure (including surface area, pore size and distribution) and pyrolysis behavior.

  9. Composition containing aerogel substrate loaded with tritium

    DOEpatents

    Ashley, Carol S.; Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Ellefson, Robert E.; Gill, John T.; Reed, Scott; Walko, Robert J.

    1992-01-01

    The invention provides a process for loading an aerogel substrate with tritium and the resultant compositions. According to the process, an aerogel substrate is hydrolyzed so that surface OH groups are formed. The hydrolyzed aerogel is then subjected to tritium exchange employing, for example, a tritium-containing gas, whereby tritium atoms replace H atoms of surface OH groups. OH and/or CH groups of residual alcohol present in the aerogel may also undergo tritium exchange.

  10. Aerogel composites and method of manufacture

    DOEpatents

    Cao, Wanqing; Hunt, Arlon Jason

    1999-01-01

    Disclosed herewith is a process of forming an aerogel composite which comprises introducing a gaseous material into a formed aerogel monolith or powder, and causing decomposition of said gaseous material in said aerogel in amounts sufficient to cause deposition of the decomposition products of the gas on the surfaces of the pores of the said aerogel. Also disclosed are the composites made by the process.

  11. Slotted Polyimide-Aerogel-Filled-Waveguide Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodriguez-Solis, Rafael A.; Pacheco, Hector L.; Miranda, Felix A.; Meador, Mary Ann B.

    2013-01-01

    This presentation discussed the potential advantages of developing Slotted Waveguide Arrays using polyimide aerogels. Polyimide (PI) aerogels offer great promise as an enabling technology for lightweight aerospace antenna systems. PI aerogels are highly porous solids possessing low density and low dielectric permittivity combined with good mechanical properties. For slotted waveguide array applications, there are significant advantages in mass that more than compensate for the slightly higher loss of the aerogel filled waveguide when compared to state of practice commercial waveguide.

  12. Aerogel Cherenkov detectors in colliding beam experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danilyuk, A. F.; Kononov, S. A.; Kravchenko, E. A.; Onuchin, A. P.

    2015-05-01

    This review discusses the application of aerogel Cherenkov detectors in colliding beam experiments. Such detectors are used for charged particle identification at velocities at which other methods are ineffective. The paper examines aerogel production technology and how the aerogel optical parameters are measured. Data on threshold Cherenkov counters with direct light collection and on those using wavelength shifters are evaluated. Also presented are data on Ring Image Cherenkov detectors with single and multilayer focusing aerogel radiators.

  13. Structure and properties of "nematically ordered" aerogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asadchikov, V. E.; Askhadullin, R. Sh.; Volkov, V. V.; Dmitriev, V. V.; Kitaeva, N. K.; Martynov, P. N.; Osipov, A. A.; Senin, A. A.; Soldatov, A. A.; Chekrygina, D. I.; Yudin, A. N.

    2015-04-01

    The microstructure, specific area, and mechanical properties of various samples of "nematically ordered" aerogels whose strands are almost parallel to each other at macroscopic distances have been studied. The strong anisotropy of such aerogels distinguishes them from standard aerogels, which are synthesized by solgel technology, and opens new possibilities for physical experiments.

  14. Tapered fibers embedded in silica aerogel.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Limin; Grogan, Michael D W; Leon-Saval, Sergio G; Williams, Rhys; England, Richard; Wadsworth, Willam J; Birks, Tim A

    2009-09-15

    We have embedded thin tapered fibers (with diameters down to 1 microm) in silica aerogel with low loss. The aerogel is rigid but behaves refractively like air, protecting the taper without disturbing light propagation along it. This enables a new class of fiber devices exploiting volume evanescent interactions with the aerogel itself or with dopants or gases in the pores. PMID:19756084

  15. 21 CFR 182.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 182.1711 Section 182.1711 Food and... GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE Multiple Purpose GRAS Food Substances § 182.1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of...

  16. 21 CFR 582.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 582.1711 Section 582.1711 Food and....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of 89.5 percent. (b) (c) Limitations, restrictions, or explanation....

  17. 21 CFR 582.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 582.1711 Section 582.1711 Food and....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of 89.5 percent. (b) (c) Limitations, restrictions, or explanation....

  18. 21 CFR 182.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 182.1711 Section 182.1711 Food and....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of 89.5 percent. (b) (c) Limitations, restrictions, or explanation....

  19. 21 CFR 582.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 582.1711 Section 582.1711 Food and....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of 89.5 percent. (b) (c) Limitations, restrictions, or explanation....

  20. 21 CFR 582.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 582.1711 Section 582.1711 Food and....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of 89.5 percent. (b) (c) Limitations, restrictions, or explanation....

  1. 21 CFR 182.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Silica aerogel. 182.1711 Section 182.1711 Food and....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of 89.5 percent. (b) (c) Limitations, restrictions, or explanation....

  2. 21 CFR 182.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 182.1711 Section 182.1711 Food and....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam having a minimum silica content of 89.5 percent. (b) (c) Limitations, restrictions, or explanation....

  3. 21 CFR 582.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 582.1711 Section 582.1711 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) ANIMAL DRUGS....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam...

  4. 21 CFR 182.1711 - Silica aerogel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Silica aerogel. 182.1711 Section 182.1711 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN....1711 Silica aerogel. (a) Product. Silica aerogel as a finely powdered microcellular silica foam...

  5. Ultralight multiwalled carbon nanotube aerogel.

    PubMed

    Zou, Jianhua; Liu, Jianhua; Karakoti, Ajay Singh; Kumar, Amit; Joung, Daeha; Li, Qiang; Khondaker, Saiful I; Seal, Sudipta; Zhai, Lei

    2010-12-28

    Ultralight multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) aerogel is fabricated from a wet gel of well-dispersed pristine MWCNTs. On the basis of a theoretical prediction that increasing interaction potential between CNTs lowers their critical concentration to form an infinite percolation network, poly(3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl methacrylate) (PTMSPMA) is used to disperse and functionalize MWCNTs where the subsequent hydrolysis and condensation of PTMSPMA introduces strong and permanent chemical bonding between MWCNTs. The interaction is both experimentally and theoretically proven to facilitate the formation of a MWCNT percolation network, which leads to the gelation of MWCNT dispersion at ultralow MWCNT concentration. After removing the liquid component from the MWCNT wet gel, the lightest ever free-standing MWCNT aerogel monolith with a density of 4 mg/cm(3) is obtained. The MWCNT aerogel has an ordered macroporous honeycomb structure with straight and parallel voids in 50-150 μm separated by less than 100 nm thick walls. The entangled MWCNTs generate mesoporous structures on the honeycomb walls, creating aerogels with a surface area of 580 m(2)/g which is much higher than that of pristine MWCNTs (241 m(2)/g). Despite the ultralow density, the MWCNT aerogels have an excellent compression recoverable property as demonstrated by the compression test. The aerogels have an electrical conductivity of 3.2 × 10(-2) S·cm(-1) that can be further increased to 0.67 S·cm(-1) by a high-current pulse method without degrading their structures. The excellent compression recoverable property, hierarchically porous structure with large surface area, and high conductivity grant the MWCNT aerogels exceptional pressure and chemical vapor sensing capabilities. PMID:21090673

  6. Reusable Surface Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Advanced Flexible Reusable Surface Insulation, developed by Ames Research Center, protects the Space Shuttle from the searing heat that engulfs it on reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. Initially integrated into the Space Shuttle by Rockwell International, production was transferred to Hi-Temp Insulation Inc. in 1974. Over the years, Hi-Temp has created many new technologies to meet the requirements of the Space Shuttle program. This expertise is also used commercially, including insulation blankets to cover aircrafts parts, fire barrier material to protect aircraft engine cowlings and aircraft rescue fire fighter suits. A Fire Protection Division has also been established, offering the first suit designed exclusively by and for aircraft rescue fire fighters. Hi-Temp is a supplier to the Los Angeles City Fire Department as well as other major U.S. civil and military fire departments.

  7. Flexible nanofiber-reinforced aerogel (xerogel) synthesis, manufacture, and characterization.

    PubMed

    Li, Lichun; Yalcin, Baris; Nguyen, Baochau N; Meador, Mary Ann B; Cakmak, Miko

    2009-11-01

    Silica aerogels are sol-gel-derived materials consisting of interconnected nanoparticle building blocks that form an open and highly porous three-dimensional silica network. Flexible aerogel films could have wide applications in various thermal insulation systems. However, aerogel thin films produced with a pure sol-gel process have inherent disadvantages, such as high fragility and moisture sensitivity, that hinder wider applications of these materials. We have developed synthesis and manufacturing methods to incorporate electrospun polyurethane nanofibers into the cast sol film prior to gelation of the silica-based gel in order to reinforce the structure and overcome disadvantages such as high fragility and poor mechanical strength. In this method, a two-stage sol-gel process was employed: (1) acid-catalyzed tetraethyl orthosilicate hydrolysis and (2) base-catalyzed gelation. By precisely controlling the sol gelation kinetics with the amount of base present in the formulation, nanofibers were electrospun into the sol before the onset of the gelation process and uniformly embedded in the silica network. Nanofiber reinforcement did not alter the thermal conductivity and rendered the final composite film bendable and flexible. PMID:20356119

  8. Design and Development of Aerogel-Based Antennas for Aerospace Applications: A Final Report to the NARI Seedling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2014-01-01

    As highly porous solids possessing low density and low dielectric permittivity combined with good mechanical properties, polyimide (PI) aerogels offer great promise as an enabling technology for lightweight aircraft antenna systems. While they have been aggressively explored for thermal insulation, barely any effort has been made to leverage these materials for antennas or other applications that take advantage of their aforementioned attributes. In Phase I of the NARI Seedling Project, we fabricated PI aerogels with properties tailored to enable new antenna concepts with performance characteristics (wide bandwidth and high gain) and material properties (low density, environmental stability, and robustness) superior to the state of practice (SOP). We characterized electromagnetic properties, including permittivity, reflectivity, and propagation losses for the aerogels. Simple, prototype planar printed circuit patch antennas from down-selected aerogel formulations were fabricated by molding the aerogels to net shapes and by gold-metalizing the pattern onto the templates via electron beam evaporation in a clean room environment. These aerogel based antennas were benchmarked against current antenna SOP, and exhibited both broader bandwidth and comparable or higher gain performance at appreciably lower mass. Phase II focused on the success of the Phase I results pushing the PI aerogel based antenna technology further by exploring alternative antenna design (i.e., slot coupled antennas) and by examining other techniques for fabricating the antennas including ink jet printing with the goal of optimizing antenna performance and simplifying production. We also examined new aerogel formulations with better moisture and solvent resistance to survive processing conditions. In addition, we investigated more complex antenna designs including passive phased arrays such as 2x4 and 4x8 element arrays to assess the scalability of the aerogel antenna concept. Furthermore, we

  9. Multipurpose hardened spacecraft insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steimer, Carlos H.

    1990-01-01

    A Multipurpose Hardened Spacecraft Multilayer Insulation (MLI) system was developed and implemented to meet diverse survivability and performance requirements. Within the definition and confines of a MLI assembly (blanket), the design: (1) provides environmental protection from natural and induced nuclear, thermal, and electromagnetic radiation; (2) provides adequate electrostatic discharge protection for a geosynchronous satellite; (3) provides adequate shielding to meet radiated emission needs; and (4) will survive ascent differential pressure loads between enclosed volume and space. The MLI design is described which meets these requirements and design evolution and verification is discussed. The application is for MLI blankets which closeout the area between the laser crosslink subsystem (LCS) equipment and the DSP spacecraft cabin. Ancillary needs were implemented to ease installation at launch facility and to survive ascent acoustic and vibration loads. Directional venting accommodations were also incorporated to avoid contamination of LCS telescope, spacecraft sensors, and second surface mirrors (SSMs).

  10. Synergistic hybrid organic-inorganic aerogels.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao; Jana, Sadhan C

    2013-07-10

    A class of inorganic-organic hybrid mesoporous aerogel structure was synthesized by growing gel in a gel. In Type 1, silica gels were grown inside the macropores of thermoreversible syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) gel, while Type 2 hybrid aerogels were obtained by thermoreversible gelation of sPS chains in the mesopores of preformed silica gel. The hybrid gels were converted into aerogels by exchanging the solvent with liquid carbon dioxide followed by supercritical drying. The hybrid aerogels presented cocontinuous networks of pearl-necklace silica particles and crystalline strands of sPS and exhibited the "petal effect" due to the presence of superhydrophobic sPS and hygroscopic silica. The compressive modulus and compressive strain show large enhancements over sPS and silica aerogels indicating synergy, although Type 1 hybrid aerogels were found to be more robust. The hybrid aerogels showed fast absorption and high absorption capacity for a representative hydrocarbon liquid. PMID:23773123