Thermal characterization of carbon-opacified silica aerogels
A new method to introduce carbon into aerogels to block the infrared component of radiant heat transfer within the aerogel was developed to improve the thermal properties of silica aerogel. Chemical vapor infiltration and heat treatment were used to deposit and grow nanophase carbon deposits inside the aerogel. Infrared measurements were performed on the doped material to determine the absorption. A vacuum thermal tester was used to measure the thermal conductivity as a function of air pressure and specimen temperature on flat plate aerogel samples.