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Molecules 2018, 23(9), 2198;

Experimental Characterization of the Thermal Conductivity and Microstructure of Opacifier-Fiber-Aerogel Composite

Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structures, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Environment and Control for Flight Vehicle, School of Aerospace, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
Key Laboratory of Thermo-Fluid Science and Engineering, Ministry of Education, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemistry of Aerogels and Their Applications)
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Due to their high-porosity, nanoporous structure and pores, aerogel materials possess extremely low thermal conductivity and have broad potential in the thermal insulation field. Silica aerogel materials are widely used because of their low thermal conductivity and high temperature resistance. Pure silica aerogel is very fragile and nearly transparent to the infrared spectrum within 3–8 μm. Doping fibers and opacifiers can overcome these drawbacks. In this paper, the influences of opacifier type and content on the thermal conductivity of silica fiber mat-aerogel composite are experimentally studied using the transient plane source method. The thermal insulation performances are compared from 100 to 750 °C at constant pressure in nitrogen atmosphere among pure fiber mat, fiber mat-aerogel, 20% SiC-fiber mat-aerogel, 30% ZrO2-fiber mat-aerogel and 20% SiC + 30% ZrO2-fiber mat-aerogel. Fiber mat-aerogel doped with 20% SiC has the lowest thermal conductivity, 0.0792 W/m·K at 750 °C, which proves that the proper type and moderate content of opacifier dominates the low thermal conductivity. The pore size distribution indicates that the volume fraction of the micropore and mesopore is also the key factor for reducing the thermal conductivity of porous materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: silica aerogel; thermal conductivity; opacifier; pore size distribution silica aerogel; thermal conductivity; opacifier; pore size distribution

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Zhang, H.; Zhang, C.; Ji, W.; Wang, X.; Li, Y.; Tao, W. Experimental Characterization of the Thermal Conductivity and Microstructure of Opacifier-Fiber-Aerogel Composite. Molecules 2018, 23, 2198.

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