Saturday, November 19, 2011

They create the lightest solid material in the world

A team of researchers from the University of California, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology has developed the world's lightest material , approximately 100 times lighter than extruded polystyrene (marketed under the trademark Styrofoam). The new material contains 99.99% air and only a 0.01% solids . The solid part, manufactured at the nanoscale, is formed by a network of hollow tubes with a thickness less than one thousand times hair . Despite being a metal, fully recovered after compression and has an extraordinary ability to absorb energy. "Currently the materials are much stronger if we believe in the dimensions of the nanoscale , "says Lorenzo Valdevit, principal author of the study published in the journal Science . "It's just that modern buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Bridge Golden Gate, which are lightweight and efficient thanks to its architecture: lightweight materials us revolutionize transferring this concept to the microscale and the nanoscale, "notes William Carter, co-author of the study.

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