Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Worlds Lightest Material

Could have some interesting applications...,2817,2396633,00.asp

"Researchers have created a material that's so light it can rest comfortably on a dandelion seed head without disturbing the fluffy, delicate structure of the plant. The "ultralight metallic microlattice" invented by scientists at UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories, and Caltech is described in the Nov. 18 issue of Science.

The new material is 100 times lighter than styrofoam, according to reports. The secret to its lightness is a cellular architecture fabricated from hollow tubes that supports a material structure that is in reality 99.99 percent air, according to the research team that built it.

That means the material's density is less than one-thousandth that of water. And the stuff is pretty resilient as well—researchers said that when squashed to half its height, the material rebounds 98 percent of the way back.

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