Advanced Materials − The Basis of Innovative Buildings

Inexpensive Aerogel Panes for Window Retrofit Project

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A research team supported by Fraunhofer CSE develops a novel, transparent aerogel for window applications in a new ARPA-E project.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Fraunhofer CSE, and Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) are working on a novel transparent aerogel for window-pane applications.

The VCU-led research team is developing a novel manufacturing technology that addresses shortcomings of the recently used production process of aerogel thermal insulation, utilizing supercritical CO2 drying. The project approach is to modify the chemistry and processing of nanoporous silica aerogels to reduce the cost of aerogel production and increase the optical transparency. The team will also crosslink aerogels to produce stronger, more durable aerogels. The project team estimates that the new proposed processing improvements could cut the cost of aerogels in half.

This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E is a United States government agency tasked with promoting and funding research and development of advanced energy technologies.