Aerogels are extremely light, super-insulating nano-structured ceramic materials.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
Aerogels are extremely light, super-insulating nano-structured ceramic materials. If you fill a tube with quartz aerogel grains and pour an aluminium casting alloy into the interstices between these grains, you obtain a material with a foam-like structure: its lamellae consist of a rigid aluminium alloy, while its 'bubbles' are aerogel grains which are practically weightless. The whole body is lighter than water and capable of absorbing 10kJ/kg of mechanical energy. If you infiltrate aerogels into a ceramic felt, the result will be a super-insulating mat that will be better than any other known material at insulating car exhausts or aircraft turbines. Its crucial advantage is that it reduces packing space as well as weight.
Last modified:17/08/2012 11:46:56