Scalable, hydrophobic and highly-stretchable poly(isocyanurate-urethane) aerogels

Sadeq Malakooti, Saman Rostami, Habel Gitogo Churu, Huiyang Luo, Jenna Clark, Fabiola Casarez, Owen Rettenmaier, Soheil Daryadel, Majid Minary-Jolandan, Chariklia Sotiriou-Leventis, Nicholas Leventis, Hongbing Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Scalable, low-density and flexible aerogels offer a unique combination of excellent mechanical properties and scalable manufacturability. Herein, we report the fabrication of a family of low-density, ambient-dried and hydrophobic poly(isocyanurate-urethane) aerogels derived from a triisocyanate precursor. The bulk densities ranged from 0.28 to 0.37 g cm-3 with porosities above 70% v/v. The aerogels exhibit a highly stretchable behavior with a rapid increase in the Young's modulus with bulk density (slope of log-log plot > 6.0). In addition, the aerogels are very compressible (more than 80% compressive strain) with high shape recovery rate (more than 80% recovery in 30 s). Under tension even at high strains (e.g., more than 100% tensile strain), the aerogels at lower densities do not display a significant lateral contraction and have a Poisson's ratio of only 0.22. Under dynamic conditions, the properties (e.g., complex moduli and dynamic stress-strain curves) are highly frequency- and rate-dependent, particularly in the Hopkinson pressure bar experiment where in comparison with quasi-static compression results, the properties such as mechanical strength were three orders of magnitude stiffer. The attained outcome of this work supports a basis on the understanding of the fundamental mechanical behavior of a scalable organic aerogel with potential in engineering applications including damping, energy absorption, and substrates for flexible devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21214-21223
Number of pages10
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number38
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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