ISRO Scientists develop world’s lightest material Silica Aerogel

Scientists from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have indigenously developed world’s lightest synthetic material called ‘silica aerogel’ or ‘blue air’.

It was developed by the team of scientist from ISRO’s e Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. Silica Aerogel is the lightest synthetic material ever made by man.

Key Properties of Silica Aerogel

  • Light in weight and can be delicately placed on a flower head.
  • Excellent thermal resistance and acts as a good insulator.
  • The matrix of aerogel is made up of 99 per cent air.
  • In its present development stage it is still very fragile and brittle.

Scientists at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre are still finding ways to make it tough and resilient.

Applications

  • It can used as filler in soldiers’ uniforms to save lives of soldiers at the Siachen glacier.
  • It can be used to insulate rocket engines as it can be used both in space and on Earth.
  • It can be also used to make light weight clothing.
  • It can be also painted on windows in to keep buildings cool or warm.
  • ISRO is going to use this material on moon rover in Chandryaan-2 mission of India.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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