Is This The World's Lightest Material?

Is This The World's Lightest Material?

The world's lightest material can rest on a dandelion, and weighs less than polystyrene or a marshmallow.

The incredible invention is revealed in Science magazine, and is made of hollow metallic tubes arranged into a delicate lattice, much like a delicate piece of jewellery.

The micro-lattices are made of 99.99% air and of 0.01% solids, hence the astounding lightness.

Because it is 100 times lighter than polystyrene, and incredibly strong it has "extraordinarily high energy absorption" properties says the report. That means it could be used in high-impact environments, like sounds, vibration or shock absorption.

The research was carried out at the University of California, Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology and is published in the latest edition of Science.

Dr Tobias Schaedler, the lead author, 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 new invention is lighter even than Aerogel, the lightest solid material. The new material has a density of 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimetre, while aerogel is 1.0mg per cubic cm.


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