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New flexible aerogels  (Source: NASA)
New Aerogels are 500 times stronger than current silica ancestors

NASA scientists have created stronger types of aerogels that could eventually be used for a broad spectrum of applications, such as clothing, home insulation and even in space. 
Mary Ann B. Meador, Ph.D., study leader and scientist at the NASA Glenn Research Center, and a team of colleagues, have developed the new aerogel. Aerogels are the world's lightest solid materials, but serve as excellent insulation.
The new aerogels were made stronger than traditional aerogels by using polymer to support the networks of silica that make up their structure. Also, aerogels were made from polyimide, which is a heat-resistant material, and using cross-stitches to further strengthen the aerogel. 
The result was a strong, yet flexible aerogel that can be used in many different scenarios. They could be used as insulation in clothing, tents, sleeping bags and homes, for instance. According to Meador, the aerogel is 5-10 times stronger than current insulation and wouldn't be quite as thick, offering more space inside the house. 
They could also be used for larger purposes, like uniforms for firemen and heat shields for spacecraft re-entering the Earth's atmosphere after a long journey to the International Space Station (ISS).
"The new aerogels are up to 500 times stronger than their silica counterparts," said Meador. "A thick piece actually can support the weight of a car. And they can be produced in a thin form, a film so flexible that a wide variety of commercial and industrial uses are possible."

Source: Science Daily

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RE: More room in the house
By shin0bi272 on 8/20/2012 11:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what I was thinking... whos going to use 1x2 studs in their house? That's just asking for your house to collapse to gain a couple of inches per wall. I guess if you were building one of those concrete dome houses or a house in a cave or something it would be very helpful but as a way to make home walls thinner they miss the point of walls entirely.

Where this will help the most is in airplanes, ships, submarines, and space exploration where weight and space are at the utmost premium.

RE: More room in the house
By shin0bi272 on 8/21/2012 12:24:22 AM , Rating: 3
oh wait more ideas where this will be beneficial... line the inside of HVAC and pipes (including industrial pipes for things like beer taps), appliances like ovens and fridges, automobiles, and fire retardant clothing for firefighters. Still not going to make your walls thinner but it has a lot of other uses LOL.

RE: More room in the house
By StevoLincolnite on 8/21/2012 1:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking hair gel...

RE: More room in the house
By fic2 on 8/21/2012 11:58:29 AM , Rating: 2
My first thought was fridge/freezer. Also water heater tank. Cover for swimming pool/hot tub.

I am still not sure why refrigerators don't use vacuum walls though.

Wouldn't mind thinner gloves/jacket as long as it can take active (snowboarding) use.

Car insulation - assuming that the sound insulation properties are good.

RE: More room in the house
By fic2 on 8/21/2012 12:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
I also thought we were supposed to have aerogel insulated windows by now... (I need those for my flying car)

RE: More room in the house
By MadMan007 on 8/21/2012 12:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
Greater insulation ating in the same volume instead then.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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