Aerogel In-Hand and...

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Sharqua
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Aerogel In-Hand and...

Post by Sharqua »

Hi, all!

Just thought I'd share a little tidbit for those who are curious...

My little chunk of aerogel arrived today!

The first thing that struck me was how unbelievably fragile it was. There's absolutely no chance of making jewelry with it. Think superfine styrofoam that tinkles like glass in your hand and is the consistency of a superthin holiday tree ornament, and you are getting close. You can squeeze it a teensy bit, but with only a little bit more pressure it'll shatter into a million tiny pieces.

My piece has a slightly yellowish tinge to it when held up to my computer monitor screen. It's clear when held up to a regular light. Kinda strange.

Anyhow... thought I'd share this. Can you see it sitting there balancing on my "Y" key?

-Shar

Image

Wolter
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Post by Wolter »

Did you allready put it under a microscope... :lol:

lovely piece of glas, don't break it.
Just dusting... Image

fjgiie
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How to

Post by fjgiie »

Hi Sharqua,
minkiemink wrote:If I was doing it, I would think along the lines of a small gold wire quadrahedron, decahedron, or polyhedron pendant, set with little glass panels to keep the aerogel suspended inside yet totally visible and protected. This multifaceted approach would emphasize its lovely ephemeral appearance....

It would be fun too to carefully insert a small single diamond "track"... No doubt one could see the little diamond through the transparent material. Sounds like a fun project...I will be interested to see what your jeweler comes up with. I assume it is jelloish? Hmmmm.......perhaps I will get a piece of....Eeek...What have you done....? I AM thinking of aerogel and jewelry!!
There ya go :) edit: Also SEE >Aerogel Jewelry

fjgiie
Last edited by fjgiie on Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sharqua
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Post by Sharqua »

Yah, I know... I considered it, seriously.

The stuff is just too fragile for even that. One good swat and it would shatter into a million pieces. It's not like anything I've ever seen. Think fragile glass ornament -- it's kind of scary, actually.

-Shar

sbl
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:48 pm
Location: Texas

your very own aerogel

Post by sbl »

Wow! It almost looks like a hologram. Ethereal, comes to mind. I have a question - The picture shows blue letters on the keys on the picture's right side. They look like copies of the keys to the left of the aerogel. Are these transmitted through/because of the aerogel or is it a result of the imaging?

Another question - Does it actually make a sound?

It's a wonder the Stardust piece withstood the trip.

sbl

elainekeefe
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

Post by elainekeefe »

Thank you for sharing that with us, Sharqua. It's just beautiful. I've been considering buying a piece myself. I'm just curious...since it's so fragile, how was it packed? How did you unpack it without breaking it? Where will you keep it?

Sharqua
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Re: your very own aerogel

Post by Sharqua »

sbl wrote:Wow! It almost looks like a hologram. Ethereal, comes to mind. I have a question - The picture shows blue letters on the keys on the picture's right side. They look like copies of the keys to the left of the aerogel. Are these transmitted through/because of the aerogel or is it a result of the imaging?

Another question - Does it actually make a sound?

It's a wonder the Stardust piece withstood the trip.
No, it doesn't appear to reflect or diffract light, only make it really "smudgy." I'm pretty sure that's a word, anyway.

Yes, it tinkles like a mixture between glass and styrofoam in your hand. It's VERY hard to describe. Think of taking a shattered light bulb and dropping its pieces onto a stone surface. That tinkling noise, maybe. I'm wracking my brain trying to come up with an equivalent.
elainekeefe wrote:Thank you for sharing that with us, Sharqua. It's just beautiful. I've been considering buying a piece myself. I'm just curious...since it's so fragile, how was it packed? How did you unpack it without breaking it? Where will you keep it?
It was packed in a plastic container in cotton balls. Outer packaging was a Priority Mail box. I have moved it to a heavier plastic container, still packed in cotton balls. It's fragile but not THAT fragile. The biggest mistake I could make would be to squeeze it. It feels like styrofoam in the hand, and you get an immediate urge to squeeze it to feel it spring back, since the info sheet says "it will... and then it will shatter when you squeeze it harder." I have avoided doing so.

-Shar

Schlockading
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Post by Schlockading »

How did you get a piece in the first place?
Image

minkiemink
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Location: Topanga, California

Post by minkiemink »

Ok.... :lol:...sigh ...I bit. Went and purchased some aerogel. I will let you know when I get it if there is anything at all that I can do with it jewelry wise. Hope so. It looks really interesting in photos.

-Mink
“The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched”
-Henry David Thoreau

cthiker
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Location: Woodbridge, CT

Post by cthiker »

Schlockading wrote:How did you get a piece in the first place?
You may want to check out this thread...

http://stardustathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ ... .php?t=147

I got some small pieces myself, as noted, and Sharqua is right, it crumbles very easily. I had one tiny piece that I squeezed a little too hard and it became dust in an instant (went from aerogel to very fine sand instantly! :cry: ). I'd hate to invest in this stuff for jewelry - way too fragile without being encased in a protective coating (which takes a whole lot of the "coolness" out of it, IMHO :( ).

Anyway, to all who decide to get some, Good luck...

and Happy Dusting!!

Groundling
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Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:55 pm
Location: Oregon, USA

Aerogel in hand

Post by Groundling »

Sharqua; What a beautiful image. As for myself, I went for the "small pieces". Color me cheap!
On the other hand the fragile nature of the stuff is not exagerated.
So I can give a couple of chunks of my hoard to my visiting son.
It is certainly worth $30. to see what we are dealing with.
Groundling
I have met the enemy and he is us.
Pogo

Groundling
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Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:55 pm
Location: Oregon, USA

Buy aerogel?

Post by Groundling »

By the way; For those outside the US, who may be frustrated trying to order from "United Nuclear", they are not restricted on this item. It's just their business model.
Try your search program. I saw a couple of sites, but not as clear.
Groundling
I have met the enemy and he is us.
Pogo

minkiemink
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Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Topanga, California

Post by minkiemink »

Aerogel arrived yesterday. One small piece, and a tube of bitty chunks. Interesting. Gel is like aerated glass. Clinks like glass. wipes off like glass. Absorbs any and all moisture and leaves your hand feeling sucked dry...... Not at all like glass. I wet a finger and touched it to the surface. Left a dry film of my fingerprint in saliva immediately, that I was then able to flake off. Ick. It even squeaks like a just cleaned glass if you rub it just right. Squeaking aerogel....now that was fun.

Experimented with one of the bitty pieces. I was carefully able to drill a small hole with a diamond tipped bit and insery a 1.5mm diamond into it. the hole was a bit smaller than the diamond, so I pushed slightly. The diamond snapped into place and the gel closed up the hole behind it. That was interesting. Diamond looked hazy and suspended in nothingness.

Broke that piece with further experimentation, but I planned for that and so had used the smallest one. Still left me many bits to play with. Less delicate than I expected. Didn't disintigrate as expected...but then I was wearing my magnifiers and so could see the pieces.

Next stop.....jewelry :-)


-Minkie
“The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched”
-Henry David Thoreau

sbl
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:48 pm
Location: Texas

Post by sbl »

Minkiemink, if you can get a picture the next time you put a stone in the aerogel, I would love to see it. I sell colored stones, so I know a bit about setting. It sounds like you do not need a mounting. Sort of a like a self-setting substance.

sbl

minkiemink
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Location: Topanga, California

Post by minkiemink »

Exactly, It really surprised me when it closed off the lead hole and became the mounting. I have to get it to where the diamond goes in face first at a planned angle so that the diamond displays properly. Then I can set the gel in paneled glass to display it. Miniature of course. Pendant is what I have in mind. Less wear and tear.

A stone is almost necessary to show off the aerogel, as in small amounts it is almost completely devoid of the blue hue visible in larger chunks. Small bits appear as almost completely transparent. Unfortunately, it is not possible to keep it wet while drilling, which would diminish the friction. Submersion might work. I will have to re-read the specs on it to see if that is counterindicated. I will try it again tomorrow and take pictures of the results if it looks worthwhile.

-Mink
“The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched”
-Henry David Thoreau

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