LANZHOU, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have developed a new type of ceramic aerogel which can be used in thermal insulation.
The new ceramic aerogel, developed by Chinese and American researchers, has strong mechanical and thermal stability, as well as excellent performance in transformation and toughness.
Aerogels, made of ceramics, carbon, or metal oxide, have a robust structure, said Zhang Qiangqiang, a professor at Lanzhou University in northwest China's Gansu Province.
Previous ceramic aerogels were plagued by poor mechanical stability and degradation under thermal shock. The new material is considered an ideal thermal insulation material due to its low density, low thermal conductivity, and fire resistance.
The new aerogel maintained great mechanical stability throughout hundreds of severe thermal changes between minus 198 degrees Celsius and 900 degrees Celsius. It had less than one percent degradation under thermal shock.
Lightweight aerogels are promising replacements for thermal insulation. Ceramic aerogels are ideal for thermal superinsulation under extreme conditions, such as those encountered by spacecraft.