What is Aerogel and why is it a Super Insulator?

What is Aerogel?

Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material. Aerogels are among the lightest solid materials known to man. They are created by combining a polymer with a solvent to form a gel, and then removing the liquid from the gel to get a solid which remains mainly of air.

Aerogel is extremely low in density and a very low thermal conductive. It is solid to the touch. This translucent material is considered one of the finest insulation materials available.

Even though it is called Aerogel, it is actually not a gel at all but a dry, solid, rigid material. It is only made from gel hence the name Aerogel. Aerogel is a material that is 99.8% air and the dearth of solid material allows aerogel to be almost weightless.

Aerogel are great thermal insulators.

Aerogels is classed as a super insulation because it almost nullifies two of the three methods of heat transfer – conduction (it is mostly composed of insulating gas) and convection (the microstructure prevents net gas movement). Aerogel is a great conductive insulator because it is composed almost entirely of gases, which is a very poor heat conductor.

Aerogel application:

NASA used Aerogel for the insulation of space shuttles and launch vehicles however Aerogel has long made its way into the commercial industry from applications including pipe insulation, building and construction insulation, appliances and refrigeration.

Aerogel IsoPads and IsoStrips are replacing plastic as building materials due to their hight insulation and non inflammatory nature.

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