Aerogel Technologies partnered with Derek Muller, also known as Veritasium on YouTube, for some interesting experiments. They range from aerogel basics, a simple waterproof swim to a demonstration of the material being bombarded by a Boring Company not-a-flamethrower. Aerogel has earned the nicknames frozen smoke, solid smoke, solid air, solid cloud, and blue smoke, thanks to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Put simply, silica aerogels feel like fragile expanded polystyrene to the touch, while some polymer-based versions feel like rigid foams. They’re produced by extracting the liquid component of a gel through supercritical drying, thus allowing the liquid to be slowly dried off without causing the solid matrix in the gel to collapse from capillary action.
- Worlds Lightest Solid , Extremely hydrophobic
- Nearly 40 times better insulator than fiberglass
- NASA has used aerogel on almost all missions
- This is great for fun science experiments and Collections
Aerogel was first created by Samuel Stephens Kistler in 1931, as a result of a simple bet with Charles Learned over who could replace the liquid in “jellies” with gas without causing it to shrink. His later work involved aerogels based on alumina, chromia and tin dioxide. However, it would be decades later in the 1980s when carbon aerogels were first developed.