Aerogel is an inimitable open-pore polymer foam, manufactured from either inorganic or organic predecessors. Aerogel is conventionally manufactured by means of sol-gel chemistry, which initiates with liquid state and forming tiny sol particles. These particles are interconnected with each other to form a semi-solid gel. Solid aerogel is formed by displacing solvent from the wet gel through air without breaking down the subtle gel structure. Aerogel has a nano-sized structure that comprises both particles and pores, which are smaller than the wavelength of visible light. Aerogel possesses optical, acoustic, thermal and optical properties, due to its nano-structure.
The global silica aerogel market is witnessing significant growth due to superior thermal insulation and lighter alternative, environment-friendly material and a large base of end-use applications. Additionally, silica aerogel is a potential substitute for conventional insulation materials and its use in fabrication of apparel for low temperature weather further boosted the demand for silica aerogel. The enhancement of thermal insulation systems are aimed towards reducing primary energy consumption. Silica aerogel is a potential substitute for conventional insulation materials such as mineral wool, fiberglass, polyurethane foam, polystyrene foam and cellulose. Silica aerogel, with low thermal conductivity (0.015 watts per meter kelvin), they offer extraordinary characteristics compared to conventional thermal insulation materials.
Among the various applications, the oil and gas segment has been globally the largest application area of silica aerogel, both in terms of value and volume. The challenges faced by oil and gas companies in the developing fields in harsh climatic conditions, such as deep/ultra-deep waters, oil sands and arctic environments, continue to increase. Thus, the focus has shifted on choosing an efficient and superior insulation system, which could meet environment landscape and regulations. Silica aerogel products are available in different forms to meet the wide variety of requirements of the oil and gas industry.
The key companies operating in the global silica aerogel market include BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Cabot Corporation, Aspen Aerogels, Inc., Aerogel Technologies, LLC, JIOS Aerogel Corporation, Svenska Aerogel Holding AB, MAERO TECH SDN BHD, and Ocellus Inc.
News Courtesy : P&S Market Research