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Planning Anyone ever make an Aerogel?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Langer, 13 Jan 2011.

  1. Langer

    Langer Jesse Lang

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    I'm looking into making some silica aerogel components for my Helios project.

    My question is:
    Has anyone here ever worked with, or made any, aerogels (specifically Silica based)?
    If so, can you share your experience?


    What are Aerogels?
    They are incredibly strong and have amazing thermal properties. Silica aerogel can withstand ~3000-4000 times it's weight in compression.

    [​IMG]


    Here's a short video:


    Resources for DIY Aerogel:
    I've found some great resources over the past couple weeks and am just about ready to begin trials:
    DIY silica aerogel manufacturing process
    A great collection of aerogel related resources
     
  2. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    Hmmm, phase changed super cooling with an aerogell insulator???
     
  3. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    Awsome, just awsome. Planning on DIY'ing it? If so I presume you've allready checked out the "make" section of Aerogel.org.

    Looks like it needs quite a bit of kit, and liquid CO2... scairy biscuits. Keep us informed, and enjoy!

    Or get a profesional fab to make them to spec... probably safer.
     
  4. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    If you figure it out let the Dept of Energy know. They use this stuff as the interstage in nuclear weapons, but everyone has forgotten how to make it.

    Look up "fogbank"
     
  5. Langer

    Langer Jesse Lang

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    @barry99705 - I just like the look of the stuff really.

    @asura - Silica Aerogel is actually fairly straightforward to create in ones own home, theres a link at the bottom of my first post.

    @Cthippo - Aerogels are fairly common materials... I even included a link to a DIY process in my first post... and I'll guarantee, as a security contractor for them, that the DOD doesn't misplace the recipies for anything.
     
  6. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    The mixing process all looks straight forward, some of the chemicals involved are a bit interesting, my worry was the supercritical dryer and holding liquid CO2 at 100bar. But if you're confident about that then I would love to see the results. You keep pushing boundaries, and should most definitely keep it up!
     
  7. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    This stuff sure sounds interesting, but it's not particularily easy to produce it, with all the required chemicals and CO2-dryers etc.
     
  8. Gtek

    Gtek Doesn't raise the bar; he IS the bar.

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    are you going to build a device for step 3 your self? heated up CO2 at 100bars, sounds like fun :lol:
     
  9. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    1. Aerogel is VERY expensive
    2. large blocks are hard to come by
    3. It will disappear, since it's silica it will absorb moisture (I think, I'm not sure about this one)


    I did see that a middle school kid made the stuff for a science fair project. I forgot the link :(
     
  10. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    It can be waterproofed by putting it through a later stage, with some even nastier (I think, ages since chemistry) chemicals.
     

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