What is Aerogel?

Second to none insulation qualities

The history of Aerogel

Aerogel was invented by the scientist Dr. Samuel Kistler in the 1930’s. The fascinating material has intrigued many scientists over the time and has been refined and developed.  

One of the developers of the aerogel we know today is NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, who has worked with and invented new types of aerogels.

Today aerogel is a versatile insulation material not only reserve for the space industry. Aerogels in many forms can be adapted as excellent insulations across many industries.

What is Aerogel made of?

Aerogel mostly contains of air. In facts depending on type aerogel consists of 95-99.8 % air. Therefor aerogel is an extremely light material and only three times heavier than air. Aerogel has many tiny voids that contains the air making it a second to none insulation material.

Aerogel is derived from a gel, consisting primarily of silica, polyethylene, and fibrous glass, where the liquid had been replaced with gas under pressure.


Characteristics of Aerogel

Even though aerogel is very porous it is highly stable at both low and high temperatures.

Despite the light weight, aerogel insulates very efficient against electricity, sound and heat on can be applied to up to 650 °C warm subjects. On top of that it can be used in cold temperatures as well, as low as 200 °C.

Aerogel has a very low thermal conductivity (lambda) of 0.018 at 25 °C and therefore the material required can be much thinner to obtain the same energy efficiency or decrease in temperature in comparison to other insulation materials.

Aerogel, depending on which type, exists in various thicknesses and forms and with the right tools and machinery it can be cut and molded into almost any shape.

The blue cloud

Aerogel is the lightest solid material in the world and in some forms almost cloud-like.

Due to its future-like form and characteristics aerogel has many nicknames. Among some it has been called “the blue cloud” or “frozen smoke”.

Aerogel applications

In general aerogel is perfect for extreme temperature-use, where there is only a little space and the demands for thermal insulation is high.

It is widely used thanks to its insulation thermal performance and low density compared to volume, aerogel is used for a wide range of applications where weight-saving and space is crucial, such as:

  • Building Insulation
  • Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Soundproofing e.g., in walls
  • Liquefaction LNG pipes
  • Aerospace industry
  • Pipe coating
  • Shoes, clothing, and protective cases
  • Thermos

Types of Aerogel

Aerogel comes in several forms. We specialize in the processing the following types:

Please check out the pages for more info about each type and its characteristics.

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