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Epoxy Crosslinked Silica Aerogels (X-Aerogels)NASA is interested in the development of strong lightweight materials for the dual role of thermal insulator and structural component for space vehicles; freeing more weight for useful payloads. Aerogels are very-low density materials (0.010 to 0.5 g/cc) that, due to high porosity (meso- and microporosity), can be, depending on the chemical nature of the network, ideal thermal insulators (thermal conductivity approx. 15 mW/mK). However, aerogels are extremely fragile. For practical application of aerogels, one must increase strength without compromising the physical properties attributed to low density. This has been achieved by templated growth of an epoxy polymer layer that crosslinks the "pearl necklace" network of nanoparticles: the framework of a typical silica aerogel. The requirement for conformal accumulation of the epoxy crosslinker is reaction both with the surface of silica and with itself. After cross-linking, the strength of a typical aerogel monolith increases by a factor of 200, in the expense of only a 2-fold increase in density. Strength is increased further by coupling residual unreacted epoxides with diamine.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
fabrizio, Eve (Ohio Aerospace Inst. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Ilhan, Faysal (Ohio Aerospace Inst. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Meador, Mary Ann (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Johnston, Chris (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Leventis, Nicholas (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 8, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Report/Patent Number
Paper 711229
Meeting Information
227th National American Chemical Society Meeting(Anaheim, CA)
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 22-708-93-11
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.