Polymers, Vol. 15, Pages 2412: Development of a New Clay-Based Aerogel Composite from Ball Clay from Piauí, Brazil and Polysaccharides

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Polymers, Vol. 15, Pages 2412: Development of a New Clay-Based Aerogel Composite from Ball Clay from Piauí, Brazil and Polysaccharides

Polymers doi: 10.3390/polym15112412

Authors:
Wilton C. Lopes
Francisco M. Brito
Francisco E. Neto
Alyne R. Araújo
Rodolpho C. Leite
Vicente G. Freitas Viana
Edson C. Silva-Filho
Durcilene A. Silva

The incorporation of polymeric components into aerogels based on clay produces a significant improvement in the physical and thermal properties of the aerogels. In this study, clay-based aerogels were produced from a ball clay by incorporation of angico gum and sodium alginate using a simple, ecologically acceptable mixing method and freeze-drying. The compression test showed a low density of spongy material. In addition, both the compressive strength and the Young’s modulus of elasticity of the aerogels showed a progression associated to the decrease in pH. The microstructural characteristics of the aerogels were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The chemical structure was studied by infrared spectroscopy with Fourier transform (FTIR). The TGA curves from a non-oxidizing atmosphere indicated that the clay had a mass loss of 9% above 500 °C and that due to the presence of polysaccharides, the aerogels presented a decomposition of 20% at temperatures above 260 °C. The DSC curves of the aerogels demonstrated a displacement in higher temperatures. In conclusion, the results showed that aerogels of ball clay with the incorporation of polysaccharides, which are still minimally studied, have potential application as thermal insulation considering the mechanical and thermal results obtained.

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