SILICA AEROGEL BY AMBIENT PRESSURE DRYING METHOD

indian Space Research Organization at its Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) has developed hydrophobic silica aerogel in granular/powder form by a simple and cost-effective ambient pressure drying process.

SALIENT FEATURES

Silica aerogels are exotic materials with a unique combination of properties.

As a virtue of high porosity and extremely small pores, aerogels exhibit extremely low thermal conductivity, making them a ‘super-insulator’. In addition to thermal insulation, aerogels are also superior sound insulators and they possess very low refractive index and an excellent dielectric medium which finds numerous applications.

VSSC has developed a conventional drying technology at ambient pressure to get rid of the solvents within the gel. This makes the process amenable to bulk-production in a cost-effective manner. The solvents used in the production can be recycled using this technology, thus making the process environmental friendly.

PROPERTIES

PROPERTY

VALUE ACHIEVED

Bulk density, g/cm³

0.06– 0.20

BET surface area, m²/g

400 – 1000

Mean pore size, nm

10 – 40

Percentage porosity

>90 %

Contact Angle

>130°

Thermal conductivity, W/mK (RT, 1 atm)

<0.05

Dielectric constant (@ 1 MHz)

1 – 1.4

APPLICATIONS

  • Bulk-fill insulation (thermal and acoustic).
  • As fillers in concrete, cement, paints, adhesives, foams, ablatives, rubber, coatings etc. for decreasing density, thermal conductivity & flammability, and increasing the heat resistance of the material.
  • As precursors to produce aerogel based sheets that can be used as foot- insoles, boot / jacket insulation or as winter / Arctic apparel at areas having extremely cold climate.
  • In window glazing as insulator between glass/polyacrylate panels, which allow natural light but not heat (for hot places-where A/C is used), and in trapping heat (in cold places), which allow in significant electricity and money saving.
  • As fillers in cosmetic items such as sunscreen creams, foundation, toothpastes etc.
  • Carrier for drug delivery.
  • Vibration/acoustic damping materials.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER FROM ISRO

ISRO is willing to offer the knowhow of this technology to suitable entrepreneurs / industries in India. Capable manufacturing industries interested in acquiring this know-how and scale-up the technology, may write with details of their present activities, requirements and plans for implementation, infrastructure and technical expertise available with them, their own market assessment, if any, and plans for diversification to the address given below.

For further details, please contact: 

Smt U Sreerekha

Technology Transfer & Industrial Co-Ordination division (TT&IC)

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre,

Thiruvananthapuram-695 022

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ph: 0471-2564081, Fax: 0471-2564134