SPECIAL REPORT: Aerogels advance in pipeline, tank storage use

Christopher E. Smith, Pipeline EditorProgress in aerogel technology is advancing its use as subsea pipeline and LNG carrier tank insulation. Expensive and complex production methods had previously limited aerogel’s use to specialized industrial, aerospace, and construction applications.Silica aerogels consist largely of air (~95% or more) trapped in 2-50 nanometer pores within an organic or silica lattice. This pore size is less than the mean free path of air and makes air molecules within any given particle more likely to collide with the silica lattice (and transfer energy to that lattice) than with another air particle, thereby limiting potential gas-phase conduction through the ...

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