Wonderful Engineering

Guy Waterproofs Himself By Covering Himself With Aerogel

Aerogel has some really amazing properties, but it can be quite difficult to work with. This video will probe the modification of aerogels to take advantage of their distinct qualities and characteristics. Dr. Stephen Steiner and the crew at Aerogel Technologies helped in the creation of the video.

The video’s description reads, ‘Thanks to Dr. Steven Jones and Dr. Mihail Petkov at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory And thanks to FLIR for loaning us the awesome high definition thermal camera. The footage is amazing!’ The extraordinary properties of aerogel can be explained broadly because of its structure.

Aerogel is solid, but when you observe it at a nanoscale; it features a mesh or sponge-like structure. The struts that are present in this structure are nanoscale similar to the pores that are at approximately 20nm across. This setting allows the silica aerogel to be extremely light, transparent, and absorbent. Silica aerogel was once the lightest solid, but that position has been taken by the graphene aerogel.

An ice-cube sized piece of aerogel has an internal surface area that is almost equal to half a football field. Aerogel is used in high-end museum cases for regulating humidity. It also assists in maintaining the vacuum on the Mars Insight seismometers. It can adsorb moisture and other outgassed volatile that comes out from the spacecraft itself. Other suggested applications of it include its use as a physical insecticide by ‘drying out insects’ thus ceasing the need for chemical and toxic pesticides.

The video description further states, ‘Special thanks to all my Patreon supporters, especially those who contributed feedback to an earlier draft of this video.’ You can check out the video below where the YouTube user uses aerogel for waterproofing himself. Do let us know what you think of this video and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family members.