Silica aerogel is synthetic nanostructured porous ceramic with high porosity and low bulk density. It is commonly produced from a wet-gel through a series of special drying procedures for minimising the drying capillarity.
Aerogels are well known for their outstanding fire-resistance, wide range of working temperature, and low thermal conductivity (λ ≤ 30 mW/mK). A waterproof aerogel could provide additional protection from the ambient environmental conditions.
In 1931, S. S. Kistler developed aerogel by replacing the liquid in a gel with gas, ensuring that the pores of the gel did not collapse. Silica aerogel has been utilized in a variety of ways, including NASA's Stardust Mission, which employed aerogel collectors to trap stardust traveling at high velocities in space, as well as in the insulation of the rover body of NASA's Mars Rover, protecting it from extreme conditions on the planet.
In 2010, Xiao Han started concentrating on sol-gel related research and conceived a method for producing aerogel using conventional ambient pressure drying synthesis techniques. From 2012 to 2020, he further pursued this concept at Newcastle University. The technology led to the creation of Dragonfly Insulation Ltd, a company that spun out from the university.
Dragonfly Insulation Ltd (DFI), based in the UK, is a leading aerogel company founded in 2021 as a spinout from Newcastle University. We specialise in the production of silica aerogels — a type of nano-porous, lightweight ceramic renowned for its insulating properties. Beyond insulation, our silica aerogels also boast distinctive features such as water repellence, breathability, and resistance to high temperatures, making them versatile for standalone use or integration with other insulation systems.
Our extensive experience in aerogel-related chemistry allows us developed what we believe to be the most the simplest chemical process for aerogel production. This unique approach reduces the complexity of the manufacturing process, leading to greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and adaptability.
Dragonfly Insulation Ltd is a spin-out from Newcastle University, has been established to scale up aerogel manufacture based on the innovative and simplified manufacturing process with low energy consumption to offer various forms of aerogel products.
Our team consists of experienced commercial and scientific experts.