Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Aerogel Related Abstracts

8 Nanotechnology Innovations for the Sustainable Buildings of the Future

Authors: Aysin Sev, Meltem Ezel


Sustainability, being the urgent issue of our time, is closely related with the innovations in technology. Nanotechnology (NT), although not a new science, can be regarded relatively a new science for buildings with brand new materials and applications. This paper tends to give a research review of current and near future applications of nanotechnology (NT) for achieving high-performance and healthy buildings for a sustainable future. In the introduction, the driving forces for the sustainability of construction industry are explained. Then, the term NT is defined, and significance of innovations in NT for a sustainable construction industry is revealed. After presenting the application areas of NT and nanomaterials for buildings with a number of cases, challenges in the adoption of this technology are put forward, and finally the impacts of nanoparticles and nanomaterials on human health and environment are discussed.

Keywords: Nanomaterial, Wood, steel, Self-Healing Concrete, Aerogel, self cleaning sensor, nanosensor, flexible solar panel

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7 Superoleophobic Nanocellulose Aerogel Membrance as Bioinspired Cargo Carrier on Oil by Sol-Gel Method

Authors: Zulkifli, I. W. Eltara, Anawati


Understanding the complementary roles of surface energy and roughness on natural nonwetting surfaces has led to the development of a number of biomimetic superhydrophobic surfaces, which exhibit apparent contact angles with water greater than 150 degrees and low contact angle hysteresis. However, superoleophobic surfaces—those that display contact angles greater than 150 degrees with organic liquids having appreciably lower surface tensions than that of water—are extremely rare. In addition to chemical composition and roughened texture, a third parameter is essential to achieve superoleophobicity, namely, re-entrant surface curvature in the form of overhang structures. The overhangs can be realized as fibers. Superoleophobic surfaces are appealing for example, antifouling, since purely superhydrophobic surfaces are easily contaminated by oily substances in practical applications, which in turn will impair the liquid repellency. On the other studied have demonstrate that such aqueous nanofibrillar gels are unexpectedly robust to allow formation of highly porous aerogels by direct water removal by freeze-drying, they are flexible, unlike most aerogels that suffer from brittleness, and they allow flexible hierarchically porous templates for functionalities, e.g. for electrical conductivity. No crosslinking, solvent exchange nor supercritical drying are required to suppress the collapse during the aerogel preparation, unlike in typical aerogel preparations. The aerogel used in current work is an ultralight weight solid material composed of native cellulose nanofibers. The native cellulose nanofibers are cleaved from the self-assembled hierarchy of macroscopic cellulose fibers. They have become highly topical, as they are proposed to show extraordinary mechanical properties due to their parallel and grossly hydrogen bonded polysaccharide chains. We demonstrate that superoleophobic nanocellulose aerogels coating by sol-gel method, the aerogel is capable of supporting a weight nearly 3 orders of magnitude larger than the weight of the aerogel itself. The load support is achieved by surface tension acting at different length scales: at the macroscopic scale along the perimeter of the carrier, and at the microscopic scale along the cellulose nanofibers by preventing soaking of the aerogel thus ensuring buoyancy. Superoleophobic nanocellulose aerogels have recently been achieved using unmodified cellulose nanofibers and using carboxy methylated, negatively charged cellulose nanofibers as starting materials. In this work, the aerogels made from unmodified cellulose nanofibers were subsequently treated with fluorosilanes. To complement previous work on superoleophobic aerogels, we demonstrate their application as cargo carriers on oil, gas permeability, plastrons, and drag reduction, and we show that fluorinated nanocellulose aerogels are high-adhesive superoleophobic surfaces. We foresee applications including buoyant, gas permeable, dirt-repellent coatings for miniature sensors and other devices floating on generic liquid surfaces.

Keywords: Aerogel, Nanocellulose, sol-gel, superoleophobic

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6 Numerical Study of Heat Transfer in Silica Aerogel

Authors: Amal Maazoun, Abderrazak Mezghani, Ali Ben Moussa


Aerogel consists of a ramified and inter-connected solid skeleton enclosing a very important number of nano-sized pores filled with air that occupies most of the volume and makes very low density. The thermal conductivity of this material can reach lower values than those of any other material, and it changes with the type of the aerogel and its composition. So, in order to explain the causes of the super-insulation of our material and to determine the factors in which depends on its conductivity we used a numerical simulation. We have developed a numerical code that generates random fractal structure of silica aerogel with pre-defined concentration, properties of the backbone and the gas in the pores as well as the size of the particles. The calculation of the conductivity at any point of domain shows that it is not constant and that it depends on the pore size and the location in the pore. A numerical method based on resolution by inversion of block tridiagonal matrices is used to calculate the equivalent thermal conductivity of the whole fractal structure. The average conductivity calculated for each concentration is in good agreement with those of typical aerogels. And we found that the equivalent thermal conductivity of a silica aerogel depends strongly not only on the porosity but also on the tortuosity of the solid backbone.

Keywords: Porous Media, Thermal Conductivity, Aerogel, numerical study, fractal structure

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5 Utilizing Fly Ash Cenosphere and Aerogel for Lightweight Thermal Insulating Cement-Based Composites

Authors: Asad Hanif, Pavithra Parthasarathy, Zongjin Li


Thermal insulating composites help to reduce the total power consumption in a building by creating a barrier between external and internal environment. Such composites can be used in the roofing tiles or wall panels for exterior surfaces. This study purposes to develop lightweight cement-based composites for thermal insulating applications. Waste materials like silica fume (an industrial by-product) and fly ash cenosphere (FAC) (hollow micro-spherical shells obtained as a waste residue from coal fired power plants) were used as partial replacement of cement and lightweight filler, respectively. Moreover, aerogel, a nano-porous material made of silica, was also used in different dosages for improved thermal insulating behavior, while poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers were added for enhanced toughness. The raw materials including binders and fillers were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis techniques in which various physical and chemical properties of the raw materials were evaluated like specific surface area, chemical composition (oxide form), and pore size distribution (if any). Ultra-lightweight cementitious composites were developed by varying the amounts of FAC and aerogel with 28-day unit weight ranging from 1551.28 kg/m3 to 1027.85 kg/m3. Excellent mechanical and thermal insulating properties of the resulting composites were obtained ranging from 53.62 MPa to 8.66 MPa compressive strength, 9.77 MPa to 3.98 MPa flexural strength, and 0.3025 W/m-K to 0.2009 W/m-K as thermal conductivity coefficient (QTM-500). The composites were also tested for peak temperature difference between outer and inner surfaces when subjected to heating (in a specially designed experimental set-up) by a 275W infrared lamp. The temperature difference up to 16.78 oC was achieved, which indicated outstanding properties of the developed composites to act as a thermal barrier for building envelopes. Microstructural studies were carried out by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) for characterizing the inner structure of the composite specimen. Also, the hydration products were quantified using the surface area mapping and line scale technique in EDS. The microstructural analyses indicated excellent bonding of FAC and aerogel in the cementitious system. Also, selective reactivity of FAC was ascertained from the SEM imagery where the partially consumed FAC shells were observed. All in all, the lightweight fillers, FAC, and aerogel helped to produce the lightweight composites due to their physical characteristics, while exceptional mechanical properties, owing to FAC partial reactivity, were achieved.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Composite, Thermal Conductivity, Aerogel, lightweight, cement-based, fly ash cenosphere

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4 Dielectric Spectroscopy Investigation of Hydrophobic Silica Aerogel

Authors: Sahin Yakut, Deniz Deger, Deniz Bozoglu, Kemal Ulutas


In recent years, silica aerogels have attracted great attention due to their outstanding properties, and their wide variety of potential applications such as microelectronics, nuclear and high-energy physics, optics and acoustics, superconductivity, space-physics. Hydrophobic silica aerogels were successfully synthesized in one-step by surface modification at ambient pressure. FT-IR result confirmed that Si-OH groups were successfully converted into hydrophobic and non-polar Si-CH3 groups by surface modification using trimethylchloro silane (TMCS) as co-precursor. Using Alpha-A High-Resolution Dielectric, Conductivity and Impedance Analyzer, AC conductivity of samples were examined at temperature range 293-423 K and measured over frequency range between 1-106 Hz. The characteristic relaxation time decreases with increasing temperature. The AC conductivity follows σ_AC (ω)=σ_t-σ_DC=Aω^s relation at frequencies higher than 10 Hz, and the dominant conduction mechanism is found to obey the Correlated Barrier Hopping (CBH) mechanism. At frequencies lower than 10 Hz, the electrical conduction is found to be in accordance with DC conduction mechanism. The activation energies obtained from AC conductivity results and it was observed two relaxation regions.

Keywords: Synthesis, Aerogel, dielectric constant, dielectric loss, relaxation time

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3 Thermal Resistance Analysis of Flexible Composites Based on Al2O3 Aerogels

Authors: Jianzheng Wei, Duo Zhen, Zhihan Yang, Huifeng Tan


The deployable descent technology is a lightweight entry method using an inflatable heat shield. The heatshield consists of a pressurized core which is covered by different layers of thermal insulation and flexible ablative materials in order to protect against the thermal loads. In this paper, both aluminum and silicon-aluminum aerogels were prepared by freeze-drying method. The latter material has bigger specific surface area and nano-scale pores. Mullite fibers are used as the reinforcing fibers to prepare the aerogel matrix to improve composite flexibility. The flexible composite materials were performed as an insulation layer to an underlying aramid fabric by a thermal shock test at a heat flux density of 120 kW/m2 and uniaxial tensile test. These results show that the aramid fabric with untreated mullite fibers as the thermal protective layer is completely carbonized at the heat of about 60 s. The aramid fabric as a thermal resistance layer of the composite material still has good mechanical properties at the same heat condition.

Keywords: Flexibility, Aerogel, Thermal Resistance, aramid fabric

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2 Synthesis and Characterization of an Aerogel Based on Graphene Oxide and Polyethylene Glycol

Authors: Javiera Poblete, Fernando Gajardo, Katherina Fernandez


Graphene, and its derivatives such as graphene oxide (GO), are emerging nanoscopic materials, with interesting physical and chemical properties. From them, it is possible to develop three-dimensional macrostructures, such as aerogels, which are characterized by a low density, high porosity, and large surface area, having a promising structure for the development of materials. The use of GO as a precursor of these structures provides a wide variety of materials, which can be developed as a result of the functionalization of their oxygenated groups, with specific compounds such as polyethylene glycol (PEG). The synthesis of aerogels of GO-PEG for non-covalent interactions has not yet been widely reported, being of interest due to its feasible escalation and economic viability. Thus, this work aims to develop a non-covalently functionalized GO-PEG aerogels and characterize them physicochemically. In order to get this, the GO was synthesized from the modified hummers method and it was functionalized with the PEG by polymer-assisted GO gelation (crosslinker). The gelation was obtained for GO solutions (10 mg/mL) with the incorporation of PEG in different proportions by weight. The hydrogel resulting from the reaction was subsequently lyophilized, to obtain the respective aerogel. The material obtained was chemically characterized by analysis of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD), and its morphology by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images; as well as water absorption tests. The results obtained showed the formation of a non-covalent aerogel (FTIR), whose structure was highly porous (SEM) and with a water absorption values greater than 50% g/g. Thus, a methodology of synthesis for GO-PEG was developed and validated.

Keywords: Synthesis, Graphene Oxide, Aerogel, polyethylene glycol

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1 Light Weight Fly Ash Based Composite Material for Thermal Insulation Applications

Authors: Bharath Kenchappa, Kunigal Shivakumar


Lightweight, low thermal conductivity and high temperature resistant materials or the system with moderate mechanical properties and capable of taking high heating rates are needed in both commercial and military applications. A single material with these attributes is very difficult to find and one needs to come with innovative ideas to make such material system using what is available. To bring down the cost of the system, one has to be conscious about the cost of basic materials. Such a material system can be called as the thermal barrier system. This paper focuses on developing, testing and characterization of material system for thermal barrier applications. The material developed is porous, low density, low thermal conductivity of 0.1062 W/m C and glass transition temperature about 310 C. Also, the thermal properties of the developed material was measured in both longitudinal and thickness direction to highlight the fact that the material shows isotropic behavior. The material is called modified Eco-Core which uses only less than 9% weight of high-char resin in the composite. The filler (reinforcing material) is a component of fly ash called Cenosphere, they are hollow micro-bubbles made of ceramic materials. Special mixing-technique is used to surface coat the fillers with a thin layer of resin to develop a point-to-point contact of particles. One could use commercial ceramic micro-bubbles instead of Cenospheres, but it is expensive. The bulk density of Cenospheres is about 0.35 g/cc and we could accomplish the composite density of about 0.4 g/cc. One percent filler weight of 3mm length standard drywall grade fibers was used to bring the added toughness. Both thermal and mechanical characterization was performed and properties are documented. For higher temperature applications (up to 1,000 C), a hybrid system was developed using an aerogel mat. Properties of combined material was characterized and documented. Thermal tests were conducted on both the bare modified Eco-Core and hybrid materials to assess the suitability of the material to a thermal barrier application. The hybrid material system was found to meet the requirement of the application.

Keywords: fly ash, Aerogel, porous material, thermal barrier

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