7 December 1992 Accelerated subcritical drying of large alkoxide silica gels
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Abstract
Fracture during drying has been the key hurdle in fabrication of large monolithic silica glass from alkoxide gels. Although existing literature suggests pore enlargement, aging, chemical additives, supercritical drying and freeze drying as helpful in avoiding fracture during drying, successful accelerated sub-critical drying of large silica monoliths from alkoxide gels has not yet been reported. In the present approach, acid catalyzed sols of TEOS, ethanol and water (pH equals 2) were cast as cylindrical rods in plastic molds of 8.0 and 10.0 cm diameter with volumes of 2000 cc and 3000 cc respectively. The resultant gels were aged for about 7 days and dried in a specially designed chamber under sub-critical conditions of the pore field. We have obtained monolithic dry gels in drying times of 3 - 7 days for sizes of 2000 - 3000 cc. The dry gels have narrow unimodal pore size distributions, with average pore radius of about 20 angstroms as measured by BET. Although capillary stress during drying increases with reduction of pore size, it was found that in this approach it is easier to dry gels of smaller pore size.
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Shiho Wang, Shiho Wang, Fikret Kirkbir, Fikret Kirkbir, S. Ray Chaudhuri, S. Ray Chaudhuri, Arnab Sarkar, Arnab Sarkar, } "Accelerated subcritical drying of large alkoxide silica gels", Proc. SPIE 1758, Sol-Gel Optics II, (7 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.132006; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.132006
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