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TECH
Aerogel
by Tim Yu
on 23 August 2007
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You might have seen the Aerogel in some newspapers and online already but we felt the need to add our two cents because of its truly world-changing potential. The porous substance is composed of dehydrogenated silicon dioxide filled with gas. Described as "frozen smoke" or the "ultimate sponge," it's the most lightweight and least dense solid on earth. A miracle material of sorts, it can withstand explosions, insulate against extreme temperatures and filter pollutants. NASA introduced it several years ago, but only recently has it been applied to commercial products.

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Hugo Boss created a line of winter jackets out of the material but was pulled because they received complaints that it was too hot. The same complaints surfaced for some mountaineering boots developed for a climb up Mount Everest. Even Dunlop, a racket sports company, is currently incorporating the material into their tennis and squash rackets to deliver more power and strength.

Green, strong, light, protective and relatively easy to make, scientists need only to figure out how to better regulate temperatures when used. Otherwise, expect to see it incorporated into winter jackets, space suits, military fatigues and the like soon.

via Times Online

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