Design and manufacturing of supercritical drying autoclave for aerogel production

  • Ashraf M. Alattar
Keywords: Autoclave, aerogel, supercritical.


This article will address autoclave design considerations and
manufacturing working with high pressure low temperature
supercritical drying technique to produce silica aerogel. The design
elects carbon dioxide as a supercritical fluid (31.7 oC and 72.3 bar).
Both temperature and pressure have independently controlling
facility through present design. The autoclave was light weight (4.5
kg) and factory-made from stainless steel. It contains a high pressure
window for monitoring both transfer carbon dioxide gas to liquid
carbon dioxide and watching supercritical drying via aerogel
preparation process. In this work aerogel samples were prepared and
the true apparent densities, total pore volume and pore size
distribution, BET surface area, spectroscopic refractive index,
structure and thermal properties have been systematically
investigated characteristic.