Scientists Unveil "World's Lightest Material"

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Scientists Unveil "World's Lightest Material"

image

Finally, a metal you can stack on top of a dandelion puff.

Researchers working at UC Irvine have developed a new, as-yet-unnamed material that they claim is both incredibly light and incredibly strong.

From the official press release:

The new material redefines the limits of lightweight materials because of its unique "micro-lattice" cellular architecture. The researchers were able to make a material that consists of 99.99 percent air by designing the 0.01 percent solid at the nanometer, micron and millimeter scales. "The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair," said lead author Dr. Tobias Schaedler of HRL.

The material's architecture allows unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50 percent strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption.

Did it just get too sciencey in here? Project engineer Lorenzo Valdevit puts it in more simple, utilitarian terms.

"Materials actually get stronger as the dimensions are reduced to the nanoscale," Valdevit says. "Combine this with the possibility of tailoring the architecture of the micro-lattice and you have a unique cellular material."

Unsurprisingly, the US military is interested in this new material's potential uses in shock absorption and the production of next-generation batteries.

Most impressively however, is that image above. That would be the new material sitting atop the hyper-fragile reproductive system of a dandelion puff. If you've ever been a child you'll know how little it takes to dislodge those puff poofs into a cloud of float-poof.

Additionally, poof poofity poof poof.

Source: UC Irvine

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Thats...pretty damn impressive.
Still, I bet that new metal is sad because it can't dislodge all those puffs into the air. :(

Science at work!

Man, this sure is an interesting times.

What's next true AI?

Trying to come up with a fitting name....

Anorexium?

Everyone look at the science!
WOOOOOOW!

Finally a way to land our microscopic troops atop the dreaded dandelion fortresses of evil. Soon those weeds will be eradicated. Muhahaha.

Inb4 'Mithril'.

Holy shit, I really am 'inb4' Mithril! Yeah, I thought Mithril.

Now... that is impressive and if it is strong enough, could revolutionize the way we build things. If its shock absorbant enough, and the process can be replicated using extremely strong materials, think about how we can solve earthquake damage problems!
Serious here... there's a huge potential in that nanoscale building idea. I could also be jumping the shark but...

Poofamantium armour anyone?

At first I was like...
OMG, OMG, OMG!!! AWESOME, AWESOME AWESOME!!!

Then I read this.

Earnest Cavalli:

Additionally, poof poofity poof poof.

I died laughing.

Huh. That would actually be my university. I knew we did something well besides LARPs and apathy.

How about lightanium?

Can I just say that I love the news people on this site, especially Grey and Earnest. They make me laugh, or at the least smile, at many of their posts.

Rutskarn:
Huh. That would actually be my university. I knew we did something well besides LARPs and apathy.

Well here is the Mithril metal for your LARPing.

I've never been a child, so can anyone tell me how much it takes to dislodge those puff poofs into a cloud of float-poof?

OT: That is damn impressive and amazing. I really hope we can put that to a good use.

How much does it cost to manufacture though? As unbelievably impressive as this is, realistically it needs to be fairly cheap to make for it to be used in construction or anything else for that matter.

It's applications are conceivably limitless, but if it's expensive. I can't see a lot of people picking it up.

The material's architecture allows unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50 percent strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption.

Wow. That is some nice recovery. Elastic deformation like that in a metal is pretty rare. So, awesome. And hooray for nanomaterials.

Inb4 "OMG, scientists wasting money on pointless things"

Hm. So on the one hand it's close to the density of aerogel, but it's metallic. I wonder what its insulation properties are.

Abandon4093:
How much does it cost to manufacture though? As unbelievably impressive as this is, realistically it needs to be fairly cheap to make for it to be used in construction or anything else for that matter.

It's applications are conceivably limitless, but if it's expensive. I can't see a lot of people picking it up.

Everything starts out really expensive upon conception. It is going to be a few more years before mass production occurs, as they first have to figure out how to mass produce it. And before that, there has to be enough interest to mass produce it.
And mass production is what will make it affordable.
Either case, I think there is going to be interest in this, especially once it gets wider demonstration to the private sector.

amaranth_dru:
Now... that is impressive and if it is strong enough, could revolutionize the way we build things. If its shock absorbant enough, and the process can be replicated using extremely strong materials, think about how we can solve earthquake damage problems!
Serious here... there's a huge potential in that nanoscale building idea. I could also be jumping the shark but...

You aren't. There has actually been a lot of work and experimenting done since before 2000 on using nanostructures to make buildings more stable. This is going to represent the great leap forward that engineers need. And I imagine this alone is a tiny percentage of the number of potential uses.
Considering its shock absorption, I imagine it will even have a place in armor design, as well.

Lightium?
with stuff like this maybe space travel is going to become affordable!

How about naming it adminium?

I can see this being used for the next generation of planes and racecars once they figure out how to fabricate huge sheets of the stuff

Even lighter then aerogel?

"Poof poofity poof poof."

In the UK, this means a different thing to what you think it does.

Wonder how many goes it took to get that metal to stay on top of that dandelion

samsonguy920:
**SNIP**
You aren't. There has actually been a lot of work and experimenting done since before 2000 on using nanostructures to make buildings more stable. This is going to represent the great leap forward that engineers need. And I imagine this alone is a tiny percentage of the number of potential uses.
Considering its shock absorption, I imagine it will even have a place in armor design, as well.

Of course, military applications always come first. But then, we do have to thank the US Military for a lot of the things we use today. They're great innovators despite peoples perception that they only do things to destroy or usurp or "steal" from other countries.
I do however see this as a potentially great breakthrough for humanity's future, as I said before in building more sound and secure structures as well as personal use. Could be a way to build lighter but sturdier car parts... well the possibilities are endless at the moment.
I'm a practical man, and this actually interests me much more than CERN's Particle Accelerator, though I do understand how great a tool the thing is, I don't always see the practicality for the common man at that level, unless there comes a breakthrough in renewable energy sources from it then I'll see their investment as a good thing rather than a "lets build this because we can" thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not downing on CERN at all, they're great people as far as mental acuity goes and probably know more than I can ever understand, but sometimes I think they may end up building something that is beyond their understanding and could potentially damage the world more than it helps, just as much a chance as discovering a great technology that will catapult us into the next century and beyond. I always have a healthy amount of concern for people who spend so much time in the scientific world that they may forget the real world does exist... but thats me.
At any rate, this breakthrough is much more practical and potential for civilian applications are as I said before near limitless if it turns out to be an easy and affordable process.
Kudos to them, and I hope to see more of these breakthroughs in the future.
I'm also curious on how it deals with high friction, as it may be a good material for building space shuttles (again if its also a strong and sturdy material). I'd hate to see another Columbia disaster since I actually got to see Columbia go down from my backyard.

Any chance that I can get my bones made out of this stuff so that I can fly?

BehattedWanderer:

The material's architecture allows unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50 percent strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption.

Wow. That is some nice recovery. Elastic deformation like that in a metal is pretty rare. So, awesome. And hooray for nanomaterials.

Yeah, I was pretty surprised by this. There's a video that shows just how well the material handles this much strain that's pretty crazy looking:

That's freak'n sweet, I honestly cant wait to see how this effects engineer projects etc in the late future. (Provided im not 6ft under by then)

How 'bout pinnalum? And yes, that is a terrible, Latin conjunction that probably makes no sense.
Anyway, this is pretty fascinating. It'll be interesting to see what this is actually used for (outside of the US military).

colourcodedchaos:
"Poof poofity poof poof."

In the UK, this means a different thing to what you think it does.

No guv'na, it's just funny for an entirely different reason on your side of The Pond.

The joke, she has levels.

Also, this:

Uber Evil:
Can I just say that I love the news people on this site, especially Grey and Earnest. They make me laugh, or at the least smile, at many of their posts.

... is the nicest thing ever. I'm blushing like an 11-year-old girl after her first kiss.

DVS BSTrD:
Trying to come up with a fitting name....

Anorexium?

Poofium. Definitely poofium.

Anyway ... Let's just *hope* the US military doesn't get its hands on it, before they start using this for their next generation of patriotism-wings to fly up into the air, given that it's so light ...

I smiled the most when UC Irvine came up.

GENTLEMEN, BEHOLD! SCIENCE!!!!! Gotta love it.

New metal? What? Do they mean new alloy? The article doesn't even say what elements it's composed of.

Well there goes reason 3 of the reasons why we don't have bad ass power suits. If you were wondering it's weight of the materials. Hopefully this technology will get good use.

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