Building low-cost aerogel insulation material

S. Ren
University at Buffalo,
United States

Keywords: silica, aerogel, thermal insulation


To exploit the high temperature superinsulation potential of anisotropic thermal management materials, the incorporation of ceramic aerogel into the aligned structural networks is indispensable. However, the long-standing obstacle to exploring ultralight superinsulation ceramic aerogels is the inaccessibility of its mechanical elasticity, stability and anisotropic thermal insulation. In this study, we report a recoverable, flexible ceramic fiber-aerogel composite with anisotropic lamellar structure, where the interfacial cross-linking between ceramic fiber and aerogel is important in its superinsulation performance. The resulting ultralight aerogel composite exhibits a density of 0.05 g/cm3, large strain recovery (over 50%), and low thermal conductivity (0.0224 W/mK), while its hydrophobicity is achieved by in-situ trichlorosilane coating with the water contact angle of 135ĚŠ. The hygroscopic tests of such aerogel composites demonstrate a reversible thermal insulation. The mechanical elasticity and stability of the anisotropic composites, with its soundproof performance, shed light on the low-cost superelastic aerogel manufacturing with scalability for energy saving building applications.