The present invention discloses novel methods for producing highly porous ceramic and/or metal aerogel monolithic objects that are hard, sturdy, and resistant to high temperatures. These methods comprise preparing nanoparticulate oxides of metals and/or metalloids via a step of vigorous stirring to prevent gelation, preparing polymer-modified xerogel powder compositions by reacting said nanoparticulate oxides with one or more polyfunctional monomers, compressing said polymer-modified xerogel powder compositions into shaped compacts, and carbothermal conversion of the shaped xerogel compacts via pyrolysis to provide the highly porous ceramic and/or metal aerogel monolithic objects that have the same shapes as to their corresponding xerogel compact precursors. Representative of the highly porous ceramic and/or metal aerogel monolithic objects of the invention are ceramic and/or metal aerogels of Si, Zr, Hf, Ti, Cr, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Ru, Au, and the like. Examples include sturdy, shaped, highly porous silicon carbide (SiC), silicon nitride (Si3 N4), zirconium carbide (ZrC), hafnium carbide (HfC), chromium carbide (Cr3 C2 ), titanium carbide (TiC), zirconium boride (ZrB2 ), hafnium boride (HfB2 ), and metallic aerogels of iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), ruthenium (Ru), gold (Au), and the like. Said aerogel monolithic objects have utility in various applications such as, illustratively, in abrasives, in cutting tools, as catalyst support materials such as in reformers and converters, as filters such as for molten metals and hot gasses, in bio-medical tissue engineering such as bone replacement materials, in applications requiring strong lightweight materials such as in automotive and aircraft structural components, in ultra-high temperature ceramics, and the like.



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Publication Date

10 Oct 2019

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