American engineers have developed para-aramid fiber with high porosity and amorphous. When combining with the other layers of para-aramide the new material shows a slightly degraded mechanical properties, but is twenty times better thermal insulation properties. In the future it is planned to apply for protection against thermal and mechanical influences. Article published in the journal of the Matter.
To protect people from extreme environmental conditions and mechanical impact, scientists are developing aramid fabric. Today, there are two fundamental sets of such polymers: para-aramids and metaaramide. Among the para-aramids are widely known Kevlar is a very tough material used in bullet-proof vests, but it has problems with the insulation. On the other hand, metaaramide provide high thermal insulation (e.g. fiber “Nomex” is used in fire suits), but are inferior in mechanical properties.
To combine all properties, create a multi-layered tissue, which consequently increases the weight of clothes. There is another approach — scientists looking for a method of producing a material with intermediate properties, but so far they are almost there (of the rare examples of para-aramid “Twaron”) and still the insulation and durability are considered almost incompatible characteristics of such materials. Para-aramid aerogels are one approach to combining these characteristics — use of a porous network of thin strings to provide thermal insulation, while the rigid frame big yarn gives stiffness and strength, which, however, is a thousand times worse than Kevlar.