Check this out, “Frozen Smoke” is created by extracting the water from a silica gel and replacing it with a gas like CO2. It’s the lightest solid material known to man and does all sorts of amazing things- it’s the best known insulator around and will be used in the next gen NASA space suits; an uber armor, capable to absorbing an explosive charge; and most exciting for greenies it acts like a super sponge and will be used to clean up pollution from the air, ground, and water.
Frozen Smoke is basically the next big miracle material. It will eventually go into everything from sleeping bags to tennis rackets to cars to cellphones to paintball masks. It could have a profound impact on the environment and world at large if it finds its way into the right smart entrepreneurs and engineers.
Here’s a quick bit from a post at Times Online, swing over to read the whole thing.
A MIRACLE material for the 21st century could protect your home against bomb blasts, mop up oil spillages and even help man to fly to Mars.
Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300C.
Scientists are working to discover new applications for the substance, ranging from the next generation of tennis rackets to super-insulated space suits for a manned mission to Mars.
It is expected to rank alongside wonder products from previous generations such as Bakelite in the 1930s, carbon fibre in the 1980s and silicone in the 1990s. Mercouri Kanatzidis, a chemistry professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, said: “It is an amazing material. It has the lowest density of any product known to man, yet at the same time it can do so much. I can see aerogel being used for everything from filtering polluted water to insulating against extreme temperatures and even for jewellery.”
Aerogel is nicknamed “frozen smoke” and is made by extracting water from a silica gel, then replacing it with gas such as carbon dioxide. The result is a substance that is capable of insulating against extreme temperatures and of absorbing pollutants such as crude oil.