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Module Abstract

This module introduces aerogels, nicknamed “blue smoke.” Using exploratory activities this module introduces the nano structure of aerogels and the resulting extreme physical properties exhibited such as: thermal conductivity, transparency, and impact resistance. These properties make aerogels attractive to many applications including fire protection. 

Nano Concepts – Lists which nanotechnology areas are being explored 

  • Surface area to volume
  • Nanoscale structures

Traditional Science Concepts – Lists which science areas are being explored 

  • Mass density
  • Thermal conduction
  • Elasticity
  • Supercritical drying processes

Module Resources and Documents
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Aerogels Module

Aerogels Slides

List of Required Materials
The full list of items needed for this module is below.  Note that materials for DIY modules are not available through Nano-Link or the Nano-Infusion program.

  • Pieces of each of the following:
    • Aerogel insulating blanket
    • Felt
    • Cotton
    • Plastic
    • Fleece
    • Wool
    • Aluminum
  • Two ice packs
  • Vial of aerogel particles
  • Empty vial
  • Vial of water
  • Blue laser
  • Red laser
  • Flashlight
  • Lab scale or balance