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Silica gel has a wide range of applications. It is a drying agent, cooling agent, adsorbent, and separation agent. Many applications involve its use as a refractory binder.
The most common applications are in the chemical industry as a support material for chemically bonded phases. Other applications include its use in food, pharmaceuticals, and coatings. In addition, silica aerogel is used as a thickening agent in the coating industry.
Silicone gel is an inexpensive and flexible material that is colorless and transparent. A large number of applications use its nontoxic properties.
Silica particles have high mechanical strength and are compatible with water. They are available in a variety of particle sizes and pore shapes. Older silica particles are highly acidic, while newer particles are less acidic and more stable.
Newer silica particles are characterized by the presence of nonpolar silicon hydride Si-H groups, which provide improved stability at high temperatures. These groups also reduce the bleed of the organic phase.
Mesoporous silica particles have well-ordered mesoporous structures that provide better selectivity than amorphous silica samples. Additionally, mesoporous silica samples are in good agreement with N2 adsorption measurements.
Silica aerogel is used as a thickening and anti-sticking agent for plastic film. It is also a matting agent in the coating industry.
It is known to be thermally stable and has a moisture content of around 0.06kg/kg. However, it is only soluble in the vapor phase at high water vapor pressure. Unlike amine-functionalized silica, it is not able to increase its adsorption capacity.