University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Method for Preparing Aerogels and Foams

LEAD INVENTOR:

Kenneth Carter, Ph.D.

PRODUCT OPPORTUNITIES

•       Thermal insulation materials for construction, automotive, electronics, etc.

•       Packaging (replacement for polystyrene foams)

•       Adsorbants (e.g. water, oil, toxic chemicals)

•       Filtration

•       Wound care, drug and nutraceutical delivery applications  

 
ADVANTAGES

•       Safe method

•       Consumes less energy

•       Materials prepared with ambient pressure and temperature

•       Solutions can be recycled

 
TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION
The technology described here is a method for making aerogels, the lightest and lowest density known solid on the planet.  Most aerogels are prepared using supercritical drying or freeze drying.  These techniques use supercritical fluids that are supercritical at high pressures and temperatures and can sometimes be hazardous.  Other supercritical fluid based methods use low pressure solvent removal and/or freezing and both of these methods are energy intensive and result in high production costs.

 

To prepare aerogels and foam materials using this process, the polymer material is frozen while the remaining steps take place at ambient pressure and room temperature. The resulting bioactive polymer has a bulk density of 500 -2500 grams per cubic meter. Compared to other methods, this is a cost-effective and safe method of preparing foams and aerogels. Moreover, the method consumes less energy and is also environmentally-friendly, as the aqueous solutions and solvents used in the process can be easily recovered and recycled. 

ABOUT THE LEAD INVENTOR

Dr. Kenneth Carter is a Professor in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Carter and his research group are interested in the design of high performance polymers.
AVAILABILITY:
Available for Licensing and/or Sponsored Research
DOCKET:
UMA 16-064
PATENT STATUS:
Patent Pending
Contact:
Burnley Jaklevic
Senior Licensing Officer
University of Massachusetts
413-577-0651
bjaklevic@research.umass.edu
Inventor(s):
Kenneth Raymond Carter
Yinyong Li
Keywords: