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Guest blogger- Jacky 5DC

The Future of Aerogel

By: Jacky Tang 5DC

 

Aerogel is an amazing material that has a 0.0095 density and is 0.5 of a gram and Aerogel is almost as light as air. Aerogel has been used by NASA on various space missions such as collecting stardust from comets and even on Mars Rovers. There are 4 types of this amazing material and they are: 1. classic silica Aerogel 2. Pyro gel 3. Cryo gel and 4. Airloy. Each of these materials have different uses.   Classic silica Aerogel is for curiosity gifts and experimentation, Pyro gel is used to keep heat in, Cryo gel is used to keep cold in, and finally Airloy is a very strong type of Aerogel and is used for experimentation and looks like plastic. Aerogel has already been made into a variety of cool products such as jackets, house insulation, and gifts made from Aerogel.

When using Aerogel you should wear gloves to prevent little dry brittle spots from forming on your skin. Sometimes particles 2-5 nanometers will come off the gel and is bad for the body if it gets in eyes or if you breathe it in or consume the particles or gel it will be harmful to the body and when the particles are breathed in it will cause a disease called silicosis or “miners lung”. It is highly recommended that respiratory protection, eye goggles, and gloves when experimenting with Aerogel. Aerogel will change the future because the blankets are used for “super insulation” and 19 of 20 of the world’s top petrochemical companies use Aerogel to transport the petrochemicals. Cryo gel will be good for house insulation in the summer because it can keep the temperature of the house cool if you use the Cryo gel as shades and the Pyro gel does the opposite but in the winter were it keeps heat in. I think Pyro gel can also be made into sleeping bags or tents to provide a super insulated tent or sleeping bag for camping.

When Aerogel is in contact in water it will catastrophically dissolve but there is a way to hydrophilic the gel, the gel is soaked in chemical base to replace hydroxyl groups with non-polar groups on the surface which will then protect the Aerogel from water.

In 2003 25 million US$ worth of Aerogel was sold and that number rose to 500 million in 2013. If you want to find out more about Aerogel go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerogel

Or if you would like to purchase some Aerogel go to:

http://www.buyaerogel.com/

 

aerogel

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