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Issue 16, 2008
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Reinforcing polymer cross-linked aerogels with carbon nanofibers

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Abstract

We have previously reported cross-linking the mesoporous silica structure of aerogels with di-isocyanates, styrenes or epoxies reacted with amine decorated silica surfaces. These approaches have been shown to significantly increase the strength of aerogels with only a small effect on density or porosity. Herein, we examine the effect of including up to 5% (w/w) carbon nanofibers in the silica backbone before cross-linking. The addition of 5% carbon nanofibers to the lowest density aerogels studied triples the compressive modulus and the tensile stress at break is increased five-fold with no density penalty. The carbon fiber also improves the strength of the initial hydrogels before cross-linking, which may have implications in manufacturing.

Graphical abstract: Reinforcing polymer cross-linked aerogels with carbon nanofibers

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jan 2008, accepted on 20 Feb 2008 and first published on 10 Mar 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B800602D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2008,18, 1843-1852
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    Reinforcing polymer cross-linked aerogels with carbon nanofibers

    M. A. B. Meador, S. L. Vivod, L. McCorkle, D. Quade, R. M. Sullivan, L. J. Ghosn, N. Clark and L. A. Capadona, J. Mater. Chem., 2008, 18, 1843
    DOI: 10.1039/B800602D

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