Discover the newly developed material that’s lighter than a plastic carrier bag but 10 times stronger than steel
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new material that can be as thin as a supermarket carrier bag and yet 10 times stronger than steel.
Dubbed as a new ‘super-material’, the substance consists of flecks of graphene which have been compressed and joined together into a vast, fibrous structure.
More akin to something you’d expect to see on the latest instalment of Star Wars, the structure is formed into a gyroid structure using precise amounts of heat and pressure.
Development of the material by MIT researchers stemmed from a frustration with past Graphene tests suggesting the material is not able to maintain its atomic strength when formed into three-dimensional structures.
The MIT team acknowledge that creating the super-strong material using conventional manufacturing methods is likely to be impossible. However, there are ways the material could be produced at larger scales.
For example, particles could be used as template which are coated with graphene using chemical vapour deposition (CVD). The template could then be eaten or peeled away to leave the graphene-infused gyroid structure.
One potential large scale application for this material is large-scale civil engineering developments, such as bridges. Gyroid concrete would be ultrastrong, lightweight, and insulated against heat and cold because the numerous air pockets created within the gyroid structure.
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