Saturday, June 1, 2019
In 1931, Samuel Kistler created aerogel, the least dense solid in the world. Known for its ultra lightweight and dumfounding insulating ability, fresh developments have shown aerogels potential in a wide variety of areas. Recently NASA for has used it to insulate Mars rovers and space suits. In addition to this, its passing low density was utilized to catch dust particles in space, which would otherwise vaporize if they came in contact with solids at high speeds. Its insulating ability combined with its hygroscopic nature allow it to be very useful in both spacecraft and aircraft maintenance, as they keep ice from forming on the wings of the vehicle. Due to its incredible versatility and ultra lightweight, aerogel is a material of the future that will be utilized heavily in years to come.In the 1930s Samuel Kistler removed all legato from a silicon gel to produce an ultra-light material that functioned as an extreme pointly effective insulator, and named his discovery aerogel. It was initially marketed as an insulator, but due to developments in efficient insulation not being of priority in the 30s, Aerogel development stalled. In the 1980s, Aerogel development resumed as energy efficiency became a salient go forth in America. (Aerogel Crystal Structure, 2005) Although it was deemed too costly for domestic use as insulation, the development of aerogels for commercial and military use has since taken off.Aerogel is produced by making a gel out of a desired material such as silicon, and replacing the melted in a gel with a pure solvent. Then, the liquid in the gel is heated and pressurized so that it enters a supercritical state, where it can expand and compress like a gas, but has the density and thermal conductivity of a liquid. (H... ... greatly reduce the weight of planes and other military equipment. (DARPA Awards Aspen Aerogels, 2004) Due to their relatively high cost, the main consumers of aerogels are government agencies and large companies.The inc redible capabilities and extreme versatility of aerogels provide a bright future for this technologically advanced material. As space exploration expands, lightweight insulation will be at a premium, and demand for aerogels will grow exponentially. In addition, its applications in the military and environmental uses will keep this material relevant for years to come. I believe that as research and development of aerogels continues, the cost of this material will decline to the point that it will become accessible to the average consumer, and could be used in protecting(prenominal) gear or as originally conceived, as a cost efficient insulator for domestic uses.