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Exploring the potential of resorcinol-formaldehyde xerogels as thermal insulators

AuthorsRey Raap, Natalia ; Gómez Calvo, Esther ; Menéndez Díaz, José Ángel ; Arenillas de la Puente, Ana
KeywordsResorcinol-formaldehyde xerogels
Pore size
Thermal conductivity
Issue Date16-Feb-2017
CitationMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials 244: 50–54 (2017)
AbstractThe contribution to the total thermal conductivity of porous materials depends mainly on the operating conditions and on its type of porosity. Accordingly, the thermal insulating capacities of several resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) xerogels synthesized by microwave heating were investigated. First, the operating conditions were optimized, since the thermal conductivity measurements were to be performed both before and after the degassing of the organic xerogels and with various particle sizes, ranging from 3 mm to below 212 μm. Special attention was paid to the influence of the porous properties, particularly density and pore size, on the total thermal conductivity. A minimum thermal conductivity value of 0.035 W m−1 K−1 was obtained for an organic xerogel with a bulk density of 0.248 g cm−3 and a mean pore size of 144 nm. The results obtained suggest that RF xerogels would be highly suitable candidates for thermal insulation applications as their thermal conductivity values are comparable to those of commercial materials, such as expanded polystyrene (0.034 W m−1 K−1).
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2017.02.044
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