Wonderful Material Of The Aerogel —— Lighter Than Air
As early as the 1930s, an American chemist named Krystal made the world's lightest material at the time. His stunt is to remove the liquid in the silicone solution, so that it solidified into a very fine and dense nano-foam skeleton, made of 99% air ultra-light materials. This ultra-light silicone material looks like a solidified smoke, so Kestil called it "aerogel".
This kind of aerogel is extremely fragile, and in the following sixty or seventy years it is only fun and interesting. But for nearly a decade, scientists began to use their brains to explore its practical value. Chemists use glass fiber reinforcement to enhance their mechanical properties, or infuse extremely thin polymer to improve their elasticity. National Aeronautics and Astronautics scientists also synthesized a full polymer plastic aerogel, its elasticity as rubber, the strength of more than grams of the original air gel 500 times.
At the same time, there are a lot of aerogel applications to explore. The air in the aerogel hole makes it a soundproof superstar, which can be used to make a soundproof wall, and an aerogel of 1 cm in thickness is equivalent to a soundproofing effect of 5 cm high quality foam. aerogel can make glass windows warmer than traditional double-layer silicate windows, and the quality is much lighter than the latter. High-end winter sportswear also use aerogel. The new Google Tablet PC also uses a special aerogel, making it less than half the quality of the traditional. Another kind of new aerogel has a revolutionary application prospect. Its raw material is not silicone or polymer, but metal. Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2005 found an easy way to prepare metal aerogels in 2005: Ignite some transition metal compounds, after burning can be magically formed as sponge-like new things. Although metal aerogels are not suitable as sound insulation and insulation equipment, but it has a very high surface area - per gram of metal aerogels surface area of up to 3000 square meters, and metal aerogels are conductive, there are good Of the chemical reactivity. Only these features may help us reduce energy consumption and improve the environment. For example, iron and nickel are very good chemical catalysts, but the efficiency is not high, put them into aerogel can replace the high efficiency but high price of metal platinum, in the next generation of industrial production to play a catalytic role, without having to Consume a lot of energy.
Another use of metal aerogels is the storage of hydrogen. Beryllium is one of the lightest quality of the four elements, chemical properties similar to magnesium and calcium. The aerogels made with it are fast and light and can be used to store hydrogen. Although its hydrogen storage capacity is lower than that of alloys, it releases hydrogen when it does not require high temperature heating as well as alloys, and is therefore safer. Scientists hope to use this aerogel for hydrogen vehicles.
Like iron and nickel, our common copper has many catalytic effects.In 2014, scientists found that aerogel prepared with copper is expected to be used to adsorb carbon dioxide in the air, artificial photosynthesis, synthetic industrial carbohydrates. In addition, scientists are still studying other metal aerogels with superior chemical adsorption. If these metal aerogels made of "blue sky mop" really play a role in a large number of adsorption of carbon dioxide and various pollutants in the air, chances are we will soon be a fresh atmosphere!