Alkali Activated Aerogels
Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings
Clay aerogels are unique materials formed through the sublimation drying of aluminosilicate clay hydrogels. Aerogels have been an area of increased research interest in the past decade due to their very low density, high surface area/porosity, and very low thermal conductivity. Significant efforts have been made to increase the mechanical strength and moisture resistance of these materials through the incorporation of both organic polymers and fiber reinforcement. Aluminosilicates can also be
... kali activated, producing a highlycrosslinked 3D network polymer with generally excellent mechanical strength and chemical resistance, but with high density. This work presents a preliminary investigation into the combination of aerogel production techniques with alkali activation, with the goal of producing a high strength, alkali activated aerogel. Metakaolin, dehydroxylated montmorillonite and S-Type furnace slag were investigated as aluminosilicate sources. It was found that it is possible to create a stable solid material with density of approximately 0.9 g•cm -1 , compressive strength up to 9.9 MPa, and porosity on the order of 10-30 microns. 2 Acknowledgements: Any work of this magnitude is not possible without the advice and support of many friends and colleagues. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed directly or indirectly to the work herein. Firstly, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Varela. Without his vision and guidance this project could not have even began, let alone reached completion. His lighthearted attitude made this process a pleasure. I'd also like to thank Dr. Langner for contributing his time, extensive knowledge, and use of his laboratory over the course of this investigation. I am also indebted to David Fister of CIMS and Professor Richard Hailstone of CIS for the use of their microscopy equipment. Finally, I would like to thank my friends and family for their love, support, and the generous supply of confidence and sanity they gladly contributed when I was in need. I would also like to thank the Center for Layered Polymeric Structures at Case Western Reserve University for funding and support of this project.