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Hierarchically porous composites fabricated by hydrogel templating and viscous trapping techniques

Thompson, Benjamin R.; Horozov, Tommy S.; Stoyanov, Simeon D.; Paunov, Vesselin N.


Benjamin R. Thompson

Simeon D. Stoyanov

Vesselin N. Paunov


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Two methods for the preparation of hierarchically porous composites have been developed and explored. The first involved templating mixed slurries of hydrogel beads with two different average bead size distributions with gypsum slurry which allows for precise control over the porosity, pore size distributions and hierarchical microstructure of the hardened composite after the evaporation of the water from the hydrogel beads. The other technique utilised the viscosity of methylcellulose solution to suspend gypsum particles as they form an interlocked network. By varying the volume percentage of methylcellulose solution used, it is possible to control the porosity of the dried sample. The mechanical and thermal insulation properties of the composites as a function of both their porosity and pore size were investigated. Both methods demonstrate an inexpensive approach for introducing porosity in gypsum composites which reduces their thermal conductivity, improves their insulation properties and allows economic use of the matrix material whilst controlling their mechanical properties. Such composites allow for tuneable porosity without significantly compromising their strength which could find applications in the building industry as well as structuring of other composites for a variety of consumer products.


Thompson, B. R., Horozov, T. S., Stoyanov, S. D., & Paunov, V. N. (2018). Hierarchically porous composites fabricated by hydrogel templating and viscous trapping techniques. Materials & design, 137, 384-393.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 14, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 16, 2017
Publication Date 2018-01
Deposit Date Nov 2, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Materials and design
Print ISSN 0261-3069
Electronic ISSN 1873-4197
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 137
Pages 384-393
Keywords Hydrogels; Porous materials; Methylcellulose; Agar; Hydrogel templating; Viscous trapping; Thermal conductivity; Compressional strength; Hierarchical porosity
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Materials and design, 2018, v.137


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