We present a microstructural model of aerogels that includes the effect of particle necks, tortuosity and dangling ends on the scaling of elastic moduli with density. Relative neck radii can be determined for sintering series of silica aerogels and for Resorcinol Formaldehyde (RF) aerogels produced with different catalyst concentrations. The density of elastically ineffective dangling ends and the tortuosity can be estimated using information from thermal conductivity and elastic modulus measurements in silica aerogels. Typical values for the load bearing mass range from >50% for high density and heat treated aerogels to <10% of the total mass for low density wet-gels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry
- Elastic modulus
- Structural efficiency