Mechanically Strong, Lightweight Porous Materials Developed (X-Aerogels)
Aerogels are attractive materials for a variety of NASA missions because they are ultralightweight, have low thermal conductivity and low-dielectric constants, and can be readily doped with other materials. Potential NASA applications for these materials include lightweight insulation for spacecraft, habitats, and extravehicular activity (EVA) suits; catalyst supports for fuel cell and in situ resource utilization; and sensors for air- and water-quality monitoring for vehicles, habitats, and EVA suits. Conventional aerogels are extremely fragile and require processing via supercritical fluid extraction, which adds cost to the production of an aerogel and limits the sizes and geometries of samples that can be produced from these materials. These issues have severely hampered the application of aerogels in NASA missions.
N. Leventis, "Mechanically Strong, Lightweight Porous Materials Developed (X-Aerogels)," National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jan 2005.
Keywords and Phrases
Aerogels; Porous materials; Thermal conductivity
© 2005 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), All rights reserved.
01 Jan 2005