Apparently a highly usable, remarkably light solid that’s made up of approximately 99.8% air.
Aerogel, one of the worldâ€™s lightest solids, can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300C.
Scientists are working to discover new applications for the substance, ranging from the next generation of tennis rackets to super-insulated space suits for a manned mission to Mars.
Aerogel is nicknamed â€œfrozen smokeâ€ and is made by extracting water from a silica gel, then replacing it with gas such as carbon dioxide. The result is a substance that is capable of insulating against extreme temperatures and of absorbing pollutants such as crude oil.
And did you know you can buy the stuff? This website is apparently sold out, but they were selling vials of it!
Here’s a pic of its heat resistance…
Here’s how much weight it can hold…
And here’s a guy who wants to make sweet love to a cube of it.
I now pronounce you husband and Aerogel.
- Provides 39 times more insulating than the best fiberglass insulation
- Is 1,000 times less dense than glass
- Was used on the Mars Pathfinder rover
For more info, you can visit the Aerogel page at Wikipedia.