Strong polyimide aerogels that are upto 500 times stronger than conventional aerogels.

28-Sep-12
Exceptionally strong polyimide aerogels that are up to 500 times stronger than conventional aerogels have been developed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center. These cross-linked polyimide aerogels are lightweight and porous, with low thermal conductivity, making them an ideal material for numerous automotive applications. They can be formed into monoliths or thin films for use in acoustic and thermal insulation (e.g., engine firewall), vibration damping, thin-film coatings, or anywhere structural foam is currently used in vehicles. They are very lightweight as they are up to 95% porous. They are flexible, foldable and possess very low thermal conductivity. They can withstand temperatures of 300 to 400 °C (as opposed to previous versions that reached 100 °C). Unlike multilayer insulation, aerogels do not require a high vacuum to maintain their low thermal conductivity and can function as good thermal insulators at ambient pressure. They can find application in thermal insulation, acoustic insulation for motor vehicle passenger compartments, vibration damping materials, ballistic impact absorbing materials, hose insulation, dielectrics for fast electronics, automotive components, structural components in layered or sandwich-type composites.
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