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Modeling the Density Effect on Elastic Modulus of Cross-linked Silica Aerogels using a Rule-based Fuzzy Logic Model

Silica aerogels are extraordinary materials that have low density and low thermal conductivity by means of their mesoporous structures. However, aerogels are fragile materials for packaging and handling operations. To overcome this fragility problem, a strengthening process called crosslinking is applied to aerogels by reinforcing the mesoporous structures without compromising their high porosity. In this study, nanoindentation tests were carried out on cross-linked silica aerogel samples with different densities. From the nanoindentation results, high elastic modulus values could be obtained from the samples with high density. Results were analyzed using a rule-based fuzzy logic model to determine the density effect on the value of elastic modulus. The model used could successfully capture the results for further predictions

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