Effect of aerogel particle concentration on mechanical behavior of impregnated RTV 655 compound material for aerospace applications


Aerogels are a unique class of materials with superior thermal and mechanical properties particularly suitable for insulating and cryogenic storage applications. It is possible to overcome geometrical restrictions imposed by the rigidity of monolithic polyurea cross-linked silica aerogels by encapsulating micrometer-sized particles in a chemically resistant thermally insulating elastomeric "sleeve." The ultimate limiting factor for the compound material's performance is the effect of aerogel particles on the mechanical behavior of the compound material which needs to be fully characterized. The effect of size and concentration of aerogel microparticles on the tensile behavior of aerogel impregnated RTV655 samples was explored both at room temperature and at 77 K. Aerogel microparticles were created using a step-pulse pulverizing technique resulting in particle diameters between 425 m and 90 m and subsequently embedded in an RTV 655 elastomeric matrix. Aerogel particle concentrations of 25, 50, and 75 wt% were subjected to tensile tests and behavior of the compound material was investigated. Room temperature and cryogenic temperature studies revealed a compound material with rupture load values dependent on (1) microparticle size and (2) microparticle concentration. Results presented show how the stress elongation behavior depends on each parameter.

Publication Title

Advances in Materials Science and Engineering