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Scientists Create World's Lightest Material 

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Old 11-18-2011, 04:11 PM
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Scientists Create World's Lightest Material

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A team of scientists claims to have created the world's lightest material which can sit on top a dandelion without crushing the tiny fluffy seeds.
The substance - which has a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair - is made out of tiny hollow metallic tubes arranged into a micro-lattice - a criss-crossing diagonal pattern with small open spaces between the tubes.
The researchers say the material, which consists of 99.99 per cent air, is 100 times lighter than Styrofoam and has 'extraordinarily high energy absorption' properties.

The revolutionary new material is made out of hollow tubes with a wall thickness 1000 times thinner than a human hair:
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Potential future uses for the light material include next-generation batteries and shock absorbers or protective shielding.
The research was carried out at the University of California, Irvine and HRL Laboratories and is published in the latest edition of Science.
Lead author Dr Tobias Schaedler, said: 'The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
'The resulting material has a density of 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimetre'.
By comparison the density of silica aerogels - the world's lightest solid materials - is only as low as 1.0mg per cubic cm.
The metallic micro-lattices have the edge because they consist of 99.99 per cent air and of 0.01 per cent solids.
The engineers say the material's strength derives from the ordered nature of its lattice design.
Other ultralight substances, including aerogels and metallic foams, have random cellular structures meaning they are less stiff, strong, energy absorptive or conductive than the bulk of the raw materials that they are made out of.
William Carter, manager of architected materials at HRL, said: 'Modern buildings, exemplified by the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge are incredibly light and weight-efficient by virtue of their architecture,.
'We are revolutionising lightweight materials by bringing this concept to the nano and micro scales.'
To study the strength of the metallic micro-lattices the team compressed them until they were half as thick.
After removing the load the substance recovered 98 per cent of its original height and resumed its original shape.
The first time the stress test was carried out and repeated the material became less stiff and strong, but the team says that further compressions made very little difference.
'Materials actually get stronger as the dimensions are reduced to the nanoscale,' said team member Lorenzo Valdevit.
'Combine this with the possibility of tailoring the architecture of the micro-lattice and you have a unique cellular material.'

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Old 11-18-2011, 04:51 PM
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Re: Scientists Create World's Lightest Material

That truly is amazing!!

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:23 PM
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Re: Scientists Create World's Lightest Material

I hope they don't start making automobiles out of this material, because, otherwise, we'll have trouble staying on the roads.

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Old 11-20-2011, 08:54 AM
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Re: Scientists Create World's Lightest Material

cool

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Old 11-22-2011, 02:43 AM
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Re: Scientists Create World's Lightest Material

Dandelion protection. About time...

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Old 11-22-2011, 08:55 AM
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Re: Scientists Create World's Lightest Material

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Originally Posted by dooshman View Post
I hope they don't start making automobiles out of this material, because, otherwise, we'll have trouble staying on the roads.
This material will be in the air

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