Aerogel, invented by Samuel Stephens Kistler in 1931, is a solid with the lightest weight, the least refractive index, and the highest thermal insulation performance on the earth.
As is suggested by the fact that aerogel is called "solid air" or "frozen smoke", 90 percent or greater of aerogel is composed of air.
While NASA successfully put it into practical use for outer space applications during the 1990's, this dream material is not readily available on the general market after nearly 30 years. This is because aerogel cannot be made without using a very expensive equipment called supercritical dryer and therefore produced at a realistic cost.
As CO2 reduction through energy conservation has recently become an impending challenge, the importance of aerogel, which has the highest thermal insulation performance among solids on the earth, has come to be recognized again, leading to the establishment of several tens of aerogel manufacturers over the world. None of those manufacturers, however, was able to make large aerogel with high transparency, and they were limited to making powder-type aerogels that were finely ground and their secondary processed products.
Through joint research with Kyoto University, tiem factory Inc. managed to invent technology enabling the production of monolithic aerogels at a realistic cost, naming them SUFA (= Super Functional Air). Since it is difficult to maintain transparency of aerogels other than monolith-type aerogels, the successful mass production of SUFA will make us the first supplier in the world of transparent thermal insulation material.