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Synthesis of New Flexible Aerogels from Di- and Trifunctional Organosilanes

  • Gen Hayase (a1), Kazuyoshi Kanamori (a1), Kazuki Nakanishi (a1) and Teiichi Hanada (a1)

Recent years, although silica aerogels are expected to be the promising material for energy savings, the lack of mechanical strength prevents from commercial applications such as to low-density thermal insulators. To improve mechanical properties, methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) and dimethyldimethoxysilane (DMDMS) are used in this study as the co-precursor of aerogels because the network becomes flexible due to the relatively low cross-linking density and to the unreacted methyl groups. Because of the strong hydrophobicity of MTMS/DMDMS-derived condensates, phase separation occurs in aqueous sol and must be suppressed to obtain uniform and monolithic gel. We employed surfactant n-hexadecyltrimethylammonium chloride (CTAC) in starting compositions to control phase separation during a 2-step acid/base sol-gel reaction. By changing the starting composition, various microstructures of pores are obtained. In the uniaxial compression test, the aerogel showed high flexibility and spring-back to the original shape after removing the stress.

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  • EISSN: 1946-4274
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