Aerogels are advanced man-made nanophase materials, having high porosity and surface area, varied chemical structures, and fascinating and useful properties. Thus, Aerogels are materials with a vast potential for improving our daily lives.
An Aerogel is formed when a
wet sol-gel upon drying, releases entrapped liquid while maintaining a
gel structure, thus resulting in a highly porous, air-filled gel.
Some of the fascinating features
of Aerogels are:
Highest porosity: Perhaps the only material that can have over 95% porosity, and a very wide pore size distribution, ranging from Ångstroms (10-10 meter) to microns (10-6 meter).
Very high surface area: For some Aerogels, one ounce can have a surface area equal to ten football fields (over 1000 square meters per one gram).
Versatile compositions: Aerogels can be made with a wide range of chemical compositions.
Functional properties by
design: Combinations of the above features can lead to Aerogel materials
with useful properties such as:
Aerogel was invented over 65 years ago, and although this was an extraordinary scientific achievement, industry found it troublesome to work with Aerogel based on its fragile form. Aerogel was also difficult to market commercially because of a cost limiting process.
TAASI Corporation has developed a range of engineered Aerogel materials for commercial applications under the trade name of Pristina Aerogels. Typical physical properties of Pristina Aerogels are shown in TAASI products section