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Synthesis and Physico-Chemical Properties of Poly(methylmethacrylate)-Modified Silica Aerogels by Ambient Pressure Drying

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Poly(methylmethacrylate)(PMMA)-modified silica aerogels were prepared via sol–gel synthesis followed by ambient pressure drying through hydrolysis and polycondensation of sodium silicate as a precursor. (3-trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacryloxy (TMSPM) was employed as the bonding between PMMA and nanoparticles of the aerogels skeletal backbone for avoid PMMA leaching. We studied the effects of various contents of polymer and TMSPM on the physico-chemical properties of the silica aerogels. The resulting polymer coatings increase the density of the aerogels by a factor of 2–3 but the Yong's modulus and hardness of the resulting materials may increase by more than 12 and 61 orders of magnitude. Modified by 30% PMMA and 15 ml TMSPM, the aerogel ultimately failed at 60% compressive strain and the final compressive stress is 168 MPa according to the compressing test. It was found that the nanoporous structure of aerogels could be well protected by introducing PMMA into the silica network.
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Keywords: AMBIENT PRESSURE DRYING; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; PMMA; PMMA-MODIFIED SILICA AEROGELS; SILICA AEROGELS

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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