Airgel materials are included in the national focus on low-carbon energy technology promotion directory golden period of development is approaching
In the field of new materials, \” Aerogels \” has become in recent years an increasing frequency of occurrence of hot words, constant reports of research institutions to develop new trends in the application of new progress; Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan , Shaanxi, Henan and other provinces will also be included in the development ofprovince key support areas and development priorities; January 6 this year, the national development and Reform Commission will airgel material included in the national focus on low-carbon energy technologies to promote the directory. Then, as the first echelon members of the international industry airgel, airgel how our industry development? What is the status of the business? What technology development direction? China Chemical Industry News reporter conducted an interview last week. our country in the international first-tier 2014 World Materials Conference proposed that the airgel is composed of more than 90% of air and less than 10% solids, it can withstand the equivalent of a few of their own quality thousandfold pressure, when the temperature reached 1200 deg.] C until melted. In addition to its low thermal conductivity and the refractive index, but also the insulating capacity of 39 times stronger than the best glass fibers. Due to possess these characteristics, aerogels become irreplaceable material in space exploration, the Russian \”Peace\” space station and the United States \”Mars Pathfinder\” probe will use it for insulation. In addition to aerospace applications, but also widely used in many fields airgel industry, petrochemical, power, metallurgy, architecture, clothing, traditional insulating material revolutionary alternative. Airgel experts in the field, Tongji University, Professor Shen Jun introduction, airgel materials are known in the world\’s lightest solid material, the lightest aerogels only 0.16 mg / cubic centimeter, slightly lower than the density of air, having a great surface area and very low thermal conductivity. Airgel materials made of cold jacket, but with only 3mm thick and 40mm outer duck same insulation effect. -196 ℃ in liquid nitrogen in the test, this jacket can maintain internal temperature of about 31.6 ℃. Aerogels can change the world is a magical nano-materials, airgel has the mettle reason, mainly because of its unique nano-porous structure. The good news is, unlike other new materials, China\’s industrialization level airgel material almost simultaneously with the world, and showing a good trend to catch up. It is understood that, in 2001 and NASA closely related to ASPEN was founded the company, is the beginning of the industrialization of airgel; and study of airgel from the 1990s has begun, the first commercial company was founded in 2004. Shen Jun said that the current industry aerogels are more advanced in the United States and China, China has reached the international advanced level. \”Overall not lower than the international level, some indicators than US products, application market is also less than the United States.\” Tongji University Professor Ni Xing Yuan summed up the China Chemical Industry News reporter. Industry insiders, November 3, 2016, China\’s new generation large-capacity launch vehicle \”Long March V\” successful maiden satellite launch center in Wenchang, Hainan. Which is rocket fuel gas piping system is to provide thermal insulation of domestic self-developed high-performance nano airgel insulation blankets. Our airgel addition to applications in the aerospace field, also used in petrochemical, high-speed rail, oil and other widely used market. golden period of development the arrival of before the release of Allied market research firm reports that the global airgel market value of up to US $ 1.8966 billion in 2020, from 2014 – 2020 CAGR of 36.4%. With the airgel material in exploring new application areas continue to progress, market growth momentum will be further enhanced. China airgel market with applications continue to develop at a rate higher than the international average of rapid expansion. 2014 domestic airgel production is about 8,500 cubic meters, about 1500 cubic meters of imported products, the market size of about 182 million yuan. Since last year, airgel market ushered in a sudden increase in production scale, Shaoxing, Zhejiang St. Connaught Technology Co., Ltd. Jincheng Li, general manager of energy-saving briefed reporters, industry production capacity of about 20,000 cubic meters last year, mainly due to gas is already in production gel business expansion, the market reached 330 million yuan. He explained that this year in addition to the existing business expansion, new enterprises have become an important force contributions to capacity. This year is also estimated production capacity of about 20,000 cubic meters. 2015 to 2020 airgel material obtained in the field of industrial equipment and high-volume applications; by 2020 begun to replace traditional industrial insulation materials, domestic share of about 500 billion yuan of industrial insulation materials market each year; the beginning of 2020, gas gel material will begin large-scale application in the construction field; 2025 years will replace the traditional building insulation material, the domestic share market each year more than 1,000 billion yuan. Not only that, by 2020, companies will rapidly increase airgel industry, the rapid expansion of production capacity, airgel industry as a whole into the growth stage of the outbreak. Although a bright future. But now, our country airgel material is still in its infancy, has not formed a group of enterprises, yet no one company to form a solid leading position. Jincheng Li believes that the next three to five years is a golden period of development airgel materials, low-cost master core technologies and market resources of certain companies will get a huge space for development, it can quickly become competitive enterprises in the industry. Application of the market cost control Over time, building insulation materials increasingly demanding requirements of low specific gravity, fire, high thermal conductivity. Airgel insulation compared with the conventional mat material having low thermal conductivity, Insulation excellent performance; Airgel felt thinner, the same quality can cover more area; In addition, the gas gel composite article also noise, aspects fire and moisture, excellent performance. Many people in the industry said the biggest obstacle to market development of airgel is the price. NI Xingyuan said to reporters: \”In the field of building insulation, the insulation, existing insulation materials tens of yuan per square meter, although the airgel couple of years ago to more than 200 yuan per square meter, but with the size of the airgel. production, is now down to 100 yuan. but the airgel prices and market acceptance is still lagging behind, I believe the future will be closer and closer. \”airgel due to different components, mainly silica airgel, alumina airgel, zirconia, and carbon aerogels and the like. Currently, the silica airgel technology is the most mature, the most widely expand market applications. Industrial development at home and abroad airgel applications deployed mostly around the silica airgel insulation. Preparation of the carbon airgel is relatively mature, domestic carbon airgel material as the anode material and the lithium electrode desalination existing applications; and carbon airgel materials have large laser apparatus as an optical film in a high laser damage threshold of the application. However, higher carbon airgel production costs, hinder the expansion of its scope of application and the application amount. Experts suggest that the preparation process should be simplified and carbon aerogels, reducing their production costs.Jincheng Li believes that once the airgel material production costs can be significantly reduced, the market price will decline, the market size will increase dramatically. For example, the silica airgel revolutionary alternative to the traditional insulation material. ambient drying process direction is At present, typically comprises silica airgel prepared sol – gel and drying two main processes, by the sol – nanopores and obtain the desired gel method and the corresponding skeleton. Due to the surface tension of the solvent inside the gel matrix, under ordinary drying conditions will result in collapse of the skeleton, airgel core preparation technique is to avoid the drying process due to capillary forces resulting in nanopores structure collapse. Shen Jun vividly describes, similar to tofu, the first use of raw materials made of milk, tofu and then solidified become significantly reduce the volume if the water inside the tofu curd is squeezed out into curd. Preparation of tofu To airgel similar in the water to go out, but the volume can not be reduced further, to add into the gas, it is more difficult. Depending on the process, the dried airgel is divided into supercritical drying process and drying process two kinds of pressure. Supercritical drying technology is the first to achieve scale preparation of airgel, airgel is currently the domestic and foreign enterprises to adopt more technology, through pressure and temperature, the solvent to achieve its own critical point in the drying process. The solvent in the supercritical state is no surface tension, thereby enabling the gel remains intact skeletal structure during the drying process, a large amount of liquid is removed in the condensate prepared aerogels while maintaining the original structure. Ambient drying principle is the first choice of a low-surface tension solvent substitution wet gel pores larger surface tension of water and alcohol, and then the surface of the hydrophobically modified gel, the gel minimizes the degree of shrinkage; Further, to reduce the effect of capillary pressure by adjusting the hole and a uniform gel strength enhancing backbone network, and the structure can be made with the properties of aerogels prepared by supercritical drying close out at atmospheric pressure. Using high pressure supercritical drying apparatus, typically working pressures of up to 7MPa ~ 20MPa, high initial investment, operation and maintenance costs are high; atmospheric pressure using conventional drying equipment, since no high pressure conditions, the low initial investment, but the technical but a higher threshold, the combination of design and process optimization formulations have higher requirements. Experts believe that atmospheric pressureDrying is a new type of airgel technology, is currently the most active research, development potential maximum of airgel production technology. \”There are moving in this direction of force.\” Ni Xing Yuan told reporters. Jincheng Li introduced airgel insulation if you want to meet the building\’s huge market, such as medium-sized to achieve an annual output of 500,000 cubic meters, the use of supercritical drying equipment investment will reach several billion dollars, is not conducive to enterprises bigger and aerogels and stronger. The use of atmospheric drying technology, less investment enterprises can achieve greater production scale and better meet the needs of future large-scale production. In addition, limited by the silicon source, the raw material cost is reduced supercritical drying space is limited, can improve production efficiency by optimizing the system; and the strong pressure of the dried silica source cheap receiving capability, there are many optimization process freedom, therefore cost of ownership of a larger decline in space. Jincheng Li said pressure drying can be achieved airgel continuous automated production efficiency can be increased 3 to 5 times, stability of product quality and safety levels of the production can be increased dramatically.