POLY Scott Iacono, Sheng Lin-Gibson, Jeffrey Youngblood  Sunday, August 19, 2012 

5 - Spacesuits to refrigeration to pipelines: Insulating aerogels

Mary Ann B. Meador, maryann.meador@nasa.gov, Materials and Structures Division, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135, United States

As low density, highly porous solids with nanoscale pore sizes, aerogels are known as superior insulation materials. However, the most widely studied silica aerogels are quite brittle and fragile, limiting their widespread use. In recent years, new forms of aerogels have been developed with much better mechanical properties, primarily with aerospace applications in mind. These robust forms of aerogel are comprised of either polymer reinforced silica networks or cross-linked polyimides. Mechanical properties of the aerogels are as much as 500 times better than silica aerogels of similar density while low thermal conductivity is preserved. The polyimide aerogels can even be produced in an unprecedented flexible film form, making them useful as insulation for various aerospace applications from cryotanks and inflatable habitats to space suits. We are currently working on scale up of the aerogel technology which would allow widespread terrestrial application as insulation for refrigeration, industrial pipelines and even construction.

Sunday, August 19, 2012 10:45 AM
Polymer Science of Everyday Things (08:30 AM - 11:45 AM)
Location: Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel
Room: Independence Ballroom B


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