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Supercritical Dryer

The supercritical dryer was designed to be able to accommodate the critical points of many common aerogel solvents.
  • Made of 316 stainless steel for corrosion resistance
  • Minimum safety factor of 3 at 400o C and 1450 PSI (pdf)
  • Typical running temperature and pressure of 40o C and 1100 PSI
  • Capacity of 0.389 L (2.75" inner diameter, 4" deep)
  • Overall dimensions of 5.5" diameter and 6" tall
  • All fittings have pressure rating of 1500 PSI or greater and 250o C or greater
  • Will be run in 37-084 blast chamber for greater insurance
We followed the design schematic posted on aerogel.org for most of our supercritical dryer, aside from the pressure cavity. We decided to optimize the cavity for the production of many gels at once; as such, ours is substantially larger. The vessel cavity was designed in SolidWorks, before being machined out of a solid block of 316L stainless steel on a CNC lathe and mill.

The dryer was installed in the 37-084 blast room with all CO2 lines and wires leading out into a control room.