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Gels 2015, 1(2), 256-275;

Mechanical Properties and Brittle Behavior of Silica Aerogels

Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie marine et continentale (IMBE), Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, Avignon Université, UMR CNRS 7263, 13397 Marseille, France
IRD UMR 237-Campus Agro Environnemental Caraïbes-B.P. 214 Petit Morne, 97232 Le Lamentin, Martinique, France
Departamento de Fisica, FEC, LUZ, 4011 Maracaibo, Venezuela
Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas, Departamento de Física, Campus Gustavo Galindo Km 30.5 Vía Perimetral, P.O. Box 09-01-5863, 090150 Guayaquil, Ecuador
Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Tanger, B.P. 416, 90000 Tanger, Marroco
Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, Université Montpellier 2, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francoise Quignard
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerogels)
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Sets of silica gels: aerogels, xerogels and sintered aerogels, have been studied in the objective to understand the mechanical behavior of these highly porous solids. The mechanical behaviour of gels is described in terms of elastic and brittle materials, like glasses or ceramics. The magnitude of the elastic and rupture modulus is several orders of magnitude lower compared to dense glass. The mechanical behaviours (elastic and brittle) are related to the same kinds of gel characteristics: pore volume, silanol content and pore size. Elastic modulus depends strongly on the volume fraction of pores and on the condensation reaction between silanols. Concerning the brittleness features: rupture modulus and toughness, it is shown that pores size plays an important role. Pores can be considered as flaws in the terms of fracture mechanics and the flaw size is related to the pore size. Weibull’s theory is used to show the statistical nature of flaw. Moreover, stress corrosion behaviour is studied as a function of environmental conditions (water and alcoholic atmosphere) and temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerogels; porous glasses; mechanical properties; elastic properties; toughness; weibull statistic; stress corrosion effect aerogels; porous glasses; mechanical properties; elastic properties; toughness; weibull statistic; stress corrosion effect

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Woignier, T.; Primera, J.; Alaoui, A.; Etienne, P.; Despestis, F.; Calas-Etienne, S. Mechanical Properties and Brittle Behavior of Silica Aerogels. Gels 2015, 1, 256-275.

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