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Absorption capacity, kinetics and mechanical behaviour in dry and wet states of hydrophobic DEDMS/TEOS-based silica aerogels

AuthorsMorales-Flórez, Víctor ; Piñero, Manuel; Braza, Verónica; Mesa, María del Mar; Esquivias, L.; Rosa-Fox, Nicolás de la
KeywordsAbsorption capacity
Hybrid aerogel materials
Uniaxial compression
Issue DateFeb-2017
CitationJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology 81(2): 600-610 (2017)
AbstractThis work is a new approach to the study of the structural, mechanical and absorption properties of hybrid organic/inorganic silica-based aerogels. Diethoxydimethylsilane and tetraethoxysilane have been used as precursors. Changes in properties such as specific surface area, porous volume, pore radius, and surface texture and chemistry were researched as a function of the relative organic content. In addition, the absorption properties were tested for different organic liquids. The discrepancy in the absorption mechanisms and the kinetics of pure inorganic and hybrid samples were discussed. It was confirmed that swelling occurs in samples with high organic content, which, in turn, governs the absorption process. Finally, the mechanical behaviour was studied by uniaxial compression. A significant rise of the rupture strain up to 0.45 and a 10-fold decrease in the Young’s modulus to 7.8 MPa were measured in the dry samples by increasing the organic content. The mechanical response of the samples after saturation by the absorption of two reference oily liquids, namely, common motor oil and liquid polydimethylsiloxane, was also compared with the behaviour of dry samples. The presence of liquid within the sample reduced the value of the mechanical parameters in almost all cases. Moreover, the inclusion of organic chains also made the wet aerogels highly deformable. In summary, these first results suggest that tuning the organic ratio of the hybrid aerogels allows the control of not only the structural and mechanical properties but also the absorption properties. Graphical abstract: [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.]
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-016-4203-0
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