Oliver Thewalt

    Oliver Thewalt

    Theoretical Physics | Quantum Biology | Dark Matter Research | Energy Consulting | Creation of Hydrogen ATOM in the Higgs Field >> Vote for Nobel Prize

    Double-negative-index ceramic aerogels for thermal superinsulation

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6428/723

    Double-negative-index ceramic aerogels for thermal superinsulation

    Elastic ceramics
    Aerogels hold promise as lightweight replacements for thermal insulation. However, poor mechanical stability has hampered progress in moving toward commercialization. Xu et al. designed a mechanical metamaterial that pinches in a small amount when you compress it (see the Perspective by Chhowalla and Jariwala). This is characteristic of materials with a negative Poisson's ratio and dramatically improves mechanical stability. The trick was using three-dimensional graphene structures to template the ceramic aerogels, thus producing a superinsulating material endowed with excellent mechanical properties.

    Abstract
    Ceramic aerogels are attractive for thermal insulation but plagued by poor mechanical stability and degradation under thermal shock. In this study, we designed and synthesized hyperbolic architectured ceramic aerogels with nanolayered double-pane walls with a negative Poisson’s ratio (−0.25) and a negative linear thermal expansion coefficient (−1.8 × 10−6 per °C). Our aerogels display robust mechanical and thermal stability and feature ultralow densities down to ~0.1 milligram per cubic centimeter, superelasticity up to 95%, and near-zero strength loss after sharp thermal shocks (275°C per second) or intense thermal stress at 1400°C, as well as ultralow thermal conductivity in vacuum [~2.4 milliwatts per meter-kelvin (mW/m·K)] and in air (~20 mW/m·K). This robust material system is ideal for thermal superinsulation under extreme conditions, such as those encountered by spacecraft.

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6428/723