Thursday, January 2, 2014

Aerogels Are Just One More Way Science Outdoes Nature

Modern chemistry and technical advances have produced some startling products in this past century. The kinds of things being developed on the nanotechnology level are mind-boggling. Another area where the most unusual things are happening is in the realm of aerogels.

Aerogels are a substance lighter than air.
Aerogels are synthetic porous, ultralight materials derived from gels in which the liquid part is replaced by gas. The resulting substance is lighter than air, yet retains a shape. The carbon grapheme aerogel is seven times lighter than air. In fact, one the process is completed, you have a substance that is 99.8% air and has a weight of sixteen one-hundreds of a milligram per cubic meter.

All the uses have not yet been fully determined but, like Velcro, it’s suspected that we’ll find increasing varieties of applications over time. NASA has already been using the new substances and this Wikipedia site shows other remarkable applications.

Organic synthesis is yet one more means by which science has re-shaped elements of nature to create products with performance capabilities superior to what can be found in nature, designing at the molecular level. Synthetic lubricants are one of the countless bi-products of modern chemistry that now see extensive use due to their many benefits.

The military began using synthetic oils for jet aircraft shortly after WW2 because of their high and low temperature performance capabilities. When Lt. Col. A.J. Amatuzio introduced this jet age technology to the passenger car market in 1972, many people thought it was too expensive and would never catch on. But as vehicles became more sophisticated, their lubricant requirements became equally sophisticated. AMSOIL was here to stay.

Find out why synthetic oils are now the fastest growing segment of the motor oil market.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia. Source: NASA

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