What's the lightest material on earth? the scientist has developed amazing innovation in science with this Ultralight Material called Metallic Micro Lattice, This material is a solid, metal that can sit atop a dandelion flower without crushing its seeds or spherical structure!! This material consists of 99.99 percent air. The structure is of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers; in comparison, a human hair is 1,000 times thinner.. So could you imagine how light is that material? It seems that on the future almost all things could be made with this light material.
As per the reports, this new metal is known to be a 100 times lighter than Styrofoam. Scientists claim that the secret for lightness of the metal is its unique cellular architecture which has been fabricated using hollow tubes which tend to support the structure of the metal. The thickness of the hollow tubes is about 100 nanometers. The scientists have done excellent work by building a concept which is so strong yet light. This material is 99.99 percent air, and it thus has a very low density which is just one thousandth of water. Besides being extremely light this material is also quite resilient. Researchers conducted an experiment to prove this resilience wherein the metal was squashed to about half its height it tends to rebound almost 98 percent way back. The terminal velocity of this light weight metal depends on its density.
Tobias Shandler an author from HRL Laboratories reveals the trick behind this light metal. He says the concept is to delicately fabricate the structural lattice using interconnected hollow tubes. These tubes have a wall thickness which is just one thousandth that of human hair. Bill Carter, Manager at HRL Laboratories stated that the material comprises of about ninety percent of nickle. Bill is the manager of the HRL’s architected material group. He also stated that others metals too can be used for building the light weight structure.
This material boasts excellent energy absorption along with spectacular strength, it might change the fate of aerospace technologies in the near future. As of now this metal is not available in the market as the production has not been initiated. In the near future post production it might be used in varied fields. This material draws parallels with mighty structures like Eiffel Tower, its unique lattice designs makes it weight efficient and incredibly light. The material is also highly flexible thanks to the small wall thickness to diameter ratio. Because of its impressive properties it might find usage in catalyst support, battery electrodes, acoustics, shock energy and vibration dampening.
A senior researcher at University of California Irvine stated many uses of this ultra light metal, one of which is that it can be used for impact protection. This metal is also known to have great usage in the industry of aerospace, battery application and even acoustic dampening. It might open up many opportunities in the area of science and technology. If the metal is dropped from shoulder height it will take nearly 10 seconds to land on the ground. It behaves pretty much like a light weight feather and floats down to the ground.
Ultralight metallic micro-lattice has a unique architecture which enables it to recover completely from the strain of about 50 percent compression. This metal also features special ability to absorb high energy. The material has unimagined strength all because of the fact that materials tend to become strong when their dimensions are reduced to nano-scale units. This unique cellular material redefines the limits of light weight materials. This material has been recognized even by the Guinness World Records.
Scientist are expecting that ultralight metallic micro-lattice can be further modified for normal usage. Its amazing properties like high energy absorption and great strength make it perfect for usage. With a little more advancement and large scale production, ultralight metallic micro-lattice might be the future metal the world can rely on. It can be used to substitute usage of other metals which are not available in abundance or are depleting. A lot is still to be explored, the researchers are putting in hard work to develop this project further and make it helpful in day to day inventions.
There is no doubt that ultralight metallic micro-lattice is by far the lightest metal invented, the scientists behind this invention have done a credible job. Thee future definitely awaits ultralight metallic micro-lattice materials. (via)