Sol-gel processing has many benefits when it comes to the formation of ceramic and glass films. For starters, it is a simple reaction that does not require exotic materials, catalysts, or expensive deposition equipment. Likewise, sol-gel reactions do not employ extreme conditions. The reactions take place at room temperature and require only moderate temperatures to ′cure′ the gel, removing the water/alcohol that the reaction generates.1
The properties of the materials prepared using sol-gel approaches are easy to modify by utilizing an organically modified alkoxide or a variable arm metalloid.
Sol-gel processing is commonly used to modify S2 glass fibers (a type of high performance fiberglass) used in composites. Coating glass surfaces with a sol-gel film helps the glass gain strength and resist shattering. Sol-gel materials also have been used in composites to reinforce existing polymeric structures.
(1) Young, S.K. Material Matters, 1.3, 8 (2006)
Chemical Deposition Techniquest in Materials Design - Balema, V. Material Matters 2006
Sol-Gel Science for Ceramic Materials - Young, S.K. Material Matters 2006
Development of a Hermetic Barrier using Vinyl Triethoxysilane and Sol-Gel Processing Jackson, A.; Jitanu, A.; Klein, L.C. Material Matters 2006