Evaluation of Aerogel Materials for High-Temperature Batteries 1999-01-2479
Silica aerogels have 1/3 the thermal conductivity of the best commercial composite insulations, or ~13 mW/m-K at 25 °C. However, aerogels are transparent in the near IR region of 4-7 μm, which is where the radiation peak from a thermal-battery stack occurs. Titania and carbon-black powders were examined as thermal opacifiers, to reduce radiation at temperatures between 300°C and 600°C, which spans the range of operating temperature for most thermal batteries. The effectiveness of the various opacifiers depended on the loading, with the best overall results being obtained using aerogels filled with carbon black. Fabrication and strength issues still remain, however.