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The history of silicon dioxide aerogels: Before exploring more details regarding silicon dioxide aerogels, we first provide an overview of the history of aerogel invention and its development. In the 1930s, Samuel Stephens Kistler first produced silicon dioxide aerogels by formulating the idea of replacing the liquid phase by a gas with only a slight shrinkage of the gel. He prepared aerogels from many other materials, including alumina, tungsten oxide, ferric oxide, tin oxide, nickel tartarate, cellulose, cellulose nitrate, gelatin, agar, egg albumen, and rubber, which are out of scope of the discussion. 

Kistler’s method involves tedious and timeconsuming procedures, and as such there was no follow-up interest in the field of aerogels until 1968 when rediscovery of aerogels took place by a team of researchers headed by Professor S. J. Teichner at the University Claude, Bernard, Lyon, France. They substantially simplified the procedure by carrying out the sol-gel transition in a solvent, which was then removed at supercritical conditions. The first Cerenkov radiation detector based on silicon dioxide aerogels was developed in 1974 by Cantin et al. Since then, aerogels have been used or considered for use in laser experiments, sensors, thermal insulation, waste management, for molten metals, for optics and light guides, electronic devices, capacitors, imaging devices, catalysts, pesticides, and cosmic dust collection.

Field tests show that compared to the traditional materials, insulation layer thickness of the silicon dioxide aerogels is just half per kilometer per year can save $ 250,000, it's quite economy. Traditionally, the transport pipe wrapped in a thick silicate tiles, is twice the thickness as the silicon dioxide aerogels blanket. Tile traditional materials are solid, very heavy, the junction does not close links generally replaced once every five years. The new material is more durable, the insulation performance is also superior.



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