SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1991

Aerogel — A High Performance Insulating Material at 0.1 Bar


Silica aerogel is a low-density, transparent and porous solid that achieves vacuum-like insulating performance at a very modest vacuum (0.1 bar). Research is under way to further improve the thermal performance of this already highly insulating material by reducing the internal radiative heat transfer. The thermal resistance of aerogel is increased by adding infrared absorbing compounds to reduce the radiative heat transfer within the aerogel. Aerogel samples were prepared and their infrared transmission spectra were measured. After suitable materials and preparation methods were evaluated, an evacuated aerogel panel was prepared for thermal conductivity measurements. The measurements performed on this panel demonstrated significant increases in thermal performance over similar panels without opacification agents. Enhanced aerogel insulation has the potential to displace the current use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigerator, and other appliances, thereby reducing the CFC damage to the ozone layer while producing significant gains in energy efficiency.

Author Information

Hunt, AJ
Jantzen, CA
Cao, W
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: C16
Pages: 455–463
DOI: 10.1520/STP16363S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5174-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1420-3