Forum Index > Gear Talk > Has anybody experimented with aerogels for outdoor insulation?
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Posts: 2441 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Cyclopath
Faster than light
PostWed Dec 06, 2017 1:05 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Aerogels resist heat transfer better than any solid known to man.  They’re also extremely lightweight, being up to 99.9 % air.  They’re warm when wet, and give full insulation even when compressed.

In the past, aerogels have been brittle like glass, but newer techniques for making them make them a lot more flexible.  You can buy sheets of the stuff and roll them up like blankets.

Of course it’s expensive, but less so than Cuban fiber.  So, naturally, I’m wondering about lining part of the inside of a tent with it, and then carrying less clothing and a much lighter bag.

I’ve done some googling about this in the past, and it seemed like the stuff was almost ready for prime time, but not quite.  But that was a while ago.  I’m wondering if anybody in here has tried any type of aerogel insulation and has any first-hand experience to share?

An aerogel protecting a flower from an open flame.
An aerogel protecting a flower from an open flame.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
texasbb
Misplaced Texan



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 856 | TRs
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
texasbb
Misplaced Texan
PostWed Dec 06, 2017 2:25 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
My answer to your question is "I don't know," but I can't say I share your enthusiasm about moving insulation from the bag to the tent.  The latter requires you (literally) to keep a lot more volume warm, volume that in this case is leaky as all get out.

Are the rollable sheets you mention soft enough to drape over the top of your bag?  If so, that would seem a more likely approach.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
JonnyQuest
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 285 | TRs

JonnyQuest
Member
PostWed Dec 06, 2017 4:04 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Pretty sure Pacific Outdoor Equipment played with Aerogel on sleeping pads.  AFAIK, it never went anywhere.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Seventy2002
Member
Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 390 | TRs

Seventy2002
Member
PostWed Dec 06, 2017 10:41 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Aspen Aerogel SPACELOFT™ blanket is available on ebay for $4 a square foot.  The sellers warn that the stuff generates dust when handled and recommend using gloves, eye protection, and dust masks when handling.  Not quite ready for trail use.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Posts: 2441 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Cyclopath
Faster than light
PostThu Dec 07, 2017 9:02 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Sure, but there are a bunch of different blankets made in different ways by different companies.

A company, Oros, says they've made a flexible and machine-washable form of the stuff, and have put it into clothing.  I'm skeptical that that's a good use of the stuff, because it's important not to overheat and stew in your own sweat.  But they have a video of somebody wearing a jacket with aerogel and being sprayed down with -320 F liquid nitrogen.

I found an article in Outdoor Magazine, apparently the stuff is used in a pair of warm boots with poor tread ( frown.gif ) and an insulated water bottle.

It seems pretty obvious that this technology will be transformative sooner or later.  I'm not getting any younger, and neither are any of us.  I'm looking forward to enjoying warmer, lighter, better gear as I age.   smile.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
DadFly
Member
Member


Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 151 | TRs
Location: Redmond
DadFly
Member
PostTue Dec 12, 2017 10:14 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I used Aerogel footbeds on Denali in 2003. They were very effective. They were worn out by the end of the following winter. But I recommend them for this use.

--------------
"May you live in interesting times"
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Franco
Member
Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 297 | TRs
Location: Australia
Franco
Member
PostSun Dec 31, 2017 9:05 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Every year or so I come across a thread about this stuff.
my comment usually starts with : aerogel was invented in 1931...
just with that some get the idea.
There has been a lot of progress in the last decade or so as far as flexibility but it isn't yet ready to be folded and or stuffed.
Yes there have been a few products for the outdoor Industry made , for example that POE mat with some AeroGel in it came out 10 years ago. but then again the fact that it was the first and last to be made with it might suggest that it may not be ideal for that use.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
InFlight
coated in DEET



Joined: 20 May 2015
Posts: 534 | TRs
Location: Seattle area
InFlight
coated in DEET
PostWed Jan 03, 2018 11:09 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The commercially sold Space Loft Aerogel has a thermal conductivity of 14 mW/K*M, and has a density of .15 grams per cubic cm.

High Fill Down (800+) , has a thermal conductivity of  190 mW/K*M and has a mass of 1.27 grams per cubic cm for comparison.

I could see this aerogel being used in a high performance ground pad, and encased with closed cell foam.  A Z type folding pad with aerogel inserts would be ridiculously good.

--------------
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...”  ― Henry David Thoreau
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Franco
Member
Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 297 | TRs
Location: Australia
Franco
Member
PostWed Jan 03, 2018 1:43 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
In 2012 they started to talk about polymer aerogel.
That new version  was to overcome the main problem with the standard silica type and that is that it is easy to crumble.
However I still haven't seen a product for the outdoor industry that has been successful.
https://newatlas.com/polymer-aerogel-stronger-flexible-nasa/23955/
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Gear Talk > Has anybody experimented with aerogels for outdoor insulation?
  Happy Birthday Karen², Midnight Slogger!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy