Stress in aerogel during depressurization of autoclave: I. theory

George W. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Aerogels are made by heating a wet gel in an autoclave to a temperature and pressure exceeding the critical point of the solvent, then releasing the pressure. This avoids the capillary stresses that usually cause cracking during drying (since there is no liquid/vapor meniscus above the critical point). However, if the pressure is released too quickly, the fluid inside the gel does not have time to flow out of the network, so it expands within the gel and can cause cracking. The pressure in the pores of the network has been analyzed, so that the stress in the gel can be calculated as a function of the rate of pressure release. Quantitative comparisons of the measured strength of the gel with the calculated stresses (for depressurization rates known to cause cracking) are presented in a companion paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


  • aerogel
  • drying
  • permeability
  • stress
  • supercritical drying


Dive into the research topics of 'Stress in aerogel during depressurization of autoclave: I. theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this