Aerogels are remarkable thermal insulators because they almost nullify three methods of heat transfer (convection, conduction, and radiation). They are good convective inhibitors because air cannot circulate throughout the lattice.
- Silica aerogel is an especially good conductive insulator because silica is a poor conductor of heat.
- A metallic aerogel, on the other hand, would be a less effective insulator.
- Carbon aerogel is a good radiative insulator because carbon absorbs the infrared radiation that transfers heat.
- The most insulative aerogel is silica aerogel with carbon added to it.
Comparison of thermal conductivity of various insulation materials.
Thickness comparison of various materials at same R1 value