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Photos: Extreme fabrics

Aspen Aerogels makes materials designed to be not only lightweight but also capable of withstanding extreme cold and heat.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor
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Keeping insulated

A roll of Aspen aerogel, which can insulate materials to withstand temperatures as low as minus 273 Celsius, or as high as 600 degrees Celsius.

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With flame on one side, and a finger on the other, the internal air pockets prevent heat from scorching flesh.

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More spools of Aspen aerogel. Plane and ship manufacturers use the material, which weighs far less than conventional insulation. Sports apparel maker Burton also uses it in snowboarding coats.

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