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Hydrophobic and heat-resistant poly(methylphenylsiloxane)-modified resorcinol–formaldehyde composite xerogel monoliths and the carbonized derivatives


Resorcinol–formaldehyde (RF) aerogels are widely used as thermal insulation materials. The present investigation of RF aerogels emphases on improving hydrophobic property and high-temperature residual yields. In this study, polysiloxane-modified RF composite xerogel monoliths were prepared by gelation of poly(methylphenylsiloxane) prepolymer with RF in cosolvent and ambient pressure drying. The influence of phenyl content on structure and thermal property of xerogels was investigated. The as-prepared RF composite monoliths were lightweight and hydrophobic with density lower than 0.300 g/cm3 and water contact angles approaching 130°. Morphology analyses indicated that polysiloxane grew and formed a continuous layer on RF porous skeleton with controlled reaction parameter. Thermogravimetry analyses (TGA) certified that the controlled incorporation of polysiloxane in composite xerogels enhanced the thermal degradation temperature at which the weight loss of RF xerogels reaches 5% (T5%) and increased the residual yields at 1000 °C. The carbonized derivatives were obtained for further enhancing the thermal stability by removal of small molecules during carbonization. Xerogel monoliths preserved hydrophobic property till 500 °C carbonization due to the thermal stability of poly(methylphenylsiloxane). The heat-resistant composite xerogels remained monolith structure after 800 °C treatment under nitrogen condition.

The prepared composite xerogels were lightweight, hydrophobic, and thermal resistant. The hydrophobic property was preserved for 500 °C-carbonized derivatives. The heat-resistant composite xerogels remained monolith structure after 800 °C carbonized treatment under nitrogen condition.


  • Heat-resistant and hydrophobic xerogel monoliths were prepared by ambient drying.

  • The temperature at which the weight loss of RF xerogels reaches 5% was increased by the controlled incorporation of poly(methylphenylsiloxane).

  • Composite xerogels preserved hydrophobicity after 500 °C carbonization.

  • Macroscale separation of polysiloxane and resorcinol–formaldehyde was resisted.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Heilongjiang Postdoctoral Science-Research Foundation (Grant No.: LBH-Q11099).

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Correspondence to Huifang Xu.

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Zhao, R., Xu, H., Zhong, Z. et al. Hydrophobic and heat-resistant poly(methylphenylsiloxane)-modified resorcinol–formaldehyde composite xerogel monoliths and the carbonized derivatives. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol (2020).

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  • Poly(methylphenylsiloxane)
  • Resorcinol–formaldehyde
  • Sol–gel
  • Thermal stability
  • Hydrophobic property