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Aerogel, the lightest solid in aerospace applications
2018-08-29 17:35:09       From: Tradematt-Aerogel

 Aerogel, the lightest solid in aerospace applications

Aerogel, a material with excellent performance and very low density, has attracted the attention of many scientific and engineering professionals since its birth, but it is limited to many factors such as high preparation difficulty, low yield, high cost and so on. In the long time, no obvious technological breakthroughs have been obtained, and its research and application are also greatly limited. Until the breakthrough of aerogel preparation in NASA in the United States in 1993, the development of aerogels renewed their vitality. Many research institutes and enterprises followed suit, and the research direction spread rapidly. The research results are endless, and new types of gas condensation The density of rubber is getting lower and lower, more and more materials are used, and the application range is wider and wider. It has become one of the frontier materials for military and civilian use that cannot be ignored.

A typical silica aerogel with a density of less than 3 mg/cm3 can be easily supported by the blades of the grass and the leaves of the grass are not significantly deformed.

So what are the applications of aerogels in the aerospace industry? What other knowledge needs to be understood? Let’s take a look!

(1) Aviation
aerogel materials have been used in aircraft. They are mainly used for aircraft cabins with occupants and thermal insulation of important instruments. They are mainly used in aircrafts in the United States and Britain, such as the US MKV-22 Osprey. Aerogels are used in the protection of the tilting rotor bulkhead insulation system and the infrared system. Another example is the use of aerogel materials in the insulation of the cockpit cabin of the British "Jaguar" fighter.
In addition, with the rapid development and industrialization of aerogels, such ultra-light, multi-purpose materials now have the application basis in aero-engines. After a period of development, they are bound to be obtained in aircraft and aero engines. application.
The following 6 or become the direction of future aerogels:
1. Thermal protection and thermal management system
2. Sandwich and sandwich structure
3. Protective structure
4. New shock absorption structure
5. Insulation materials for antennas
6. Lightweight warm flight suit

(2) Aerospace
NASA has used aerogel to prepare the astronaut's flight insulation lining. The thickness of the interlayer is about 18mm, which can help astronauts to endure the high temperature of 1400 °C ~-130 °C ultra-low temperature, and has passed the test of many days. Aerogels are also used in "Mars Pathfinder" and "Mars Walker" rover vehicles to protect critical electrical components and lines in a rover from the low temperatures of -100 °C. Aerogels are also widely used in the thermal insulation of circuits such as spacecraft, satellites, and detectors. In addition, the United States has achieved the collection of meteorite dust through aerogel-filled recycled gloves.

Aerogel is currently the main product form

The current aerogel product forms mainly include felt, board, cloth, paper, granules, powder and shaped parts, among which most of the products are aerogel products with heat preservation function. Aerogel particles, plates, cloth, paper and shaped parts are all products of aerogel and fiber composites of the corresponding product form. The basic technical process is similar, but the product application has a big difference.