The Lightest Metal on Earth

HRL Laboratories collaborating with researchers at Caltech and UC Irvine have developed the lightest metal material yet: it's called microlattice, and it is just what the aerospace industry needs. Microlattice can sit on a dandelion and not crush the seeds, yet it can bear a 50% compression stress load. It's secret is a series of tubes.

The key structural component is a series of hollow tubes. In a study published last November in Science, the researchers exposed a light sensitive liquid to UV light through a patterned mask, which created a three-dimensional photopolymer lattice. They then deposited a layer of nickel-phosphorous onto the polymer lattice, which was then etched. The remaining structure was a macroscopic material with hollow tubes as the base structural elements. The resulting material had a density of .9 mg/cm3. By comparison, ultralight silica aerogels are 1 mg/cm3.

Read more about micro lattice at Popular Science. Link -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: HRL Labs)

Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Lightest Metal on Earth"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More