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Chemical, Physical, and Mechanical Characterization of Isocyanate Cross-linked Amine-Modified Silica Aerogels

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journal contribution
posted on 24.01.2006, 00:00 by Atul Katti, Nilesh Shimpi, Samit Roy, Hongbing Lu, Eve F. Fabrizio, Amala Dass, Lynn A. Capadona, Nicholas Leventis
We describe a new mechanically strong lightweight porous composite material obtained by encapsulating the skeletal framework of amine-modified silica aerogels with polyurea. The conformal polymer coating preserves the mesoporous structure of the underlying silica framework and the thermal conductivity remains low at 0.041 ± 0.001 W m-1 K-1. The potential of the new cross-linked silica aerogels for load-carrying applications was determined through characterization of their mechanical behavior under compression, three-point bending, and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). A primary glass transition temperature of 130 °C was identified through DMA. At room temperature, results indicate a hyperfoam behavior where in compression cross-linked aerogels are linearly elastic under small strains (<4%) and then exhibit yield behavior (until 40% strain), followed by densification and inelastic hardening. At room temperature the compressive Young's modulus and the Poisson's ratio were determined to be 129 ± 8 MPa and 0.18, respectively, while the strain at ultimate failure is 77% and the average specific compressive stress at ultimate failure is 3.89 × 105 N m kg-1. The specific flexural strength is 2.16 × 104 N m kg-1. Effects on the compressive behavior of strain rate and low temperature were also evaluated.