A novel method for preparing Al-modified silica aerogels with pretreated kaolin as the raw material is developed. Sols comprising silica and Al are prepared by an in situ reaction method from pretreated kaolin. The pretreatment step simplifies the process, saves preparation time, and reduces costs. A method for adjusting the Al content in the aerogel by changing the washing time of the sol during the ion impurity removal process is also presented. The volume stabilities and thermal properties of the Al-modified silica aerogels after high-temperature treatment are investigated. The results indicate that a small amount of modified Al improves the volumetric stability of an aerogel owing to viscous sintering of the Si–O–AlIV–(O–AlVI)y units, which increases the disorder of the SiO2 structure, building a barrier to viscous flow and hindering mass transfer.
Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2018
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