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  1. #1
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    Aerogel: Now available in blanket form

    This is in addition to a thread Slowhike had made earlier, see: [I]serarch function[I]: "Aerogel" for more info. Aerogel is an ultralight (nearly as light as air) product that provides tremendous insulation, it practically stop heat from escaping altogether from a space. It is now available in blankets to the consumer. See below for quotes from links, and link to provider.

    http://www.popsci.com/technology/art...ulation-market

    Quotes/Summary of link:
    "...you could take a two- or three-bedroom house, insulate it with aerogel, and you could heat the house with a candle. But eventually the house would become too hot."

    "..it can make sense in certain cases, particularly masonry or curved walls."

    http://ceramics.org/ceramictechtoday...ousing-market/

    Quotes/Summary:
    "...made by removing the liquid from gels, resulting in a material that is more than 90 percent air."

    "...aerogel blankets have two to four times the insulating value per inch compared to fiberglass or foam."

    Already being used in outdoor gear:

    http://www.cabot-corp.com/Aerogel/Apparel

    So whos gonna be the first to try one out?


    http://thermablok.com/
    Last edited by ikemouser; 02-07-2010 at 03:31.

  2. #2
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    Looks like it'd be pretty heavy still. Best I can figure, the product from Aspen is 22.5 oz./sq. yd. for the .2" stuff. the Data Sheet says it's 9.4 lbs./Ft.^3.

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  3. #3
    I didn't find a whole lot of information of people selling the product ready to use, but it did seem like an interesting choice. I did find one place that said that since they are made of so much air, that "if Michaelangelo’s David were made out of an aerogel with a density of 0.020 g cm-3, it would only weigh about 4 pounds (2 kg)!" http://www.aerogel.org/?p=3
    For all you chemist out there, the following link tells how to make it and has different reciepes. You do need a supercritical dryer but they have plans for that too.
    http://www.aerogel.org/

  4. #4
    i got some samples of some sheets of it a few years ago, and found it to be twice as heavy as ccf for the same warmth. it was half the thickness though. the aerogel part is light, but the material they put it into was not. i'd guess these blankets are probably the same way. i skimmed through and didn't see much info on the blankets shown in the pic on the first link.

    it sounds cool, but why is more insulation per inch so great? why is putting a 1" blanket in your attic better than 5" of fiberglass insulation if they have the same r-value, especially if the aerogel is so much more expensive. i suppose in thinner walls it might allow for better insulation, and places where there wasn't much room/thickness to put 5" of traditional insulation.

    i'd like to see some details on the flexible blanket though
    Last edited by warbonnetguy; 02-07-2010 at 10:32.

  5. #5
    Doctari's Avatar
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    And, for us, compressibility? Or, I guess the better question: If you compress it, will it expand back to it's original R value? The web site http://www.cabot-corp.com/Aerogel/Apparel says it's still warm if compressed, but I couldn't find how much it compresses.
    I do like the idea of using it as a foot bed liner, assuming compression isn't an issue.
    Also: Durability? The web site says: No compression or performance degradation over time. BUT, how many times have we heard similar claims that proved false.
    I will continue to watch this stuff. I remember when they debuted it on the TV show "Beyond 2000" back in 1999. Back then it was nearly useless in all but very very controlled situations. But I saw it's potential for us once they got it sorted out. Looks like it may soon happen.
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  6. #6
    SlowBro's Avatar
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    There have been multiple discussions on this over the past couple of years in the BackpackingLight Forum. They all end with this stuff being too brittle and too heavy to be useful in a backpacking situation, even though it does have incredible R values for a given thickness.

    Addendum: Well, after reading the links from ikemouser it does look like maybe they are moving to a more useable material. The NanoGel product from Cabot is intriguing.
    Last edited by SlowBro; 02-07-2010 at 12:17.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member goodcaver's Avatar
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    From what I am reading, it seems like aerogel isn't actually a thing, a type of insulation or whatever, but a way of making insulation. So you could make an aerogel heavier or lighter, more or less compressible, more or less flexible, etc. etc., based upon the base materials you used to make the aerogel. Is that right?

  8. #8
    SlowBro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodcaver View Post
    From what I am reading, it seems like aerogel isn't actually a thing, a type of insulation or whatever, but a way of making insulation. So you could make an aerogel heavier or lighter, more or less compressible, more or less flexible, etc. etc., based upon the base materials you used to make the aerogel. Is that right?
    It kind of sounds a little like that. It is a silica based insulation ( think quartz ) that until recently was very expensive to make. It appears the Cabot has learned how to make it under ambient conditions that allow for continuous manufacturing and control of many of it's properties. Here is another article about it (scroll about half way down the page.)
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  9. #9
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    i got some samples of some sheets of it a few years ago, and found it to be twice as heavy as ccf for the same warmth. it was half the thickness though. the aerogel part is light, but the material they put it into was not. i'd guess these blankets are probably the same way. i skimmed through and didn't see much info on the blankets shown in the pic on the first link.

    it sounds cool, but why is more insulation per inch so great? why is putting a 1" blanket in your attic better than 5" of fiberglass insulation if they have the same r-value, especially if the aerogel is so much more expensive. i suppose in thinner walls it might allow for better insulation, and places where there wasn't much room/thickness to put 5" of traditional insulation.

    i'd like to see some details on the flexible blanket though
    I agree with this post, it all depends on whose makign it, it has the potential to be the lightest insulation there is, but why should those making home insulation care how light it is? There not making it for us, we just have to wait til someone makes it for our uses or makes it light so that we can use it.

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