Metallic Hair-Thin Pipes as the World Lightest Material

A web of metallic hair thin pipes became the lightest material known by mankind – less dense than air and 200 times lighter than styrofoam. It was invented by a team of researcher from University of California at Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology.

The metal can be seen sitting at the top of dandelion fluff without damaging or strangling the top of the flower in an unbelievable scene.

The discovery takes an inspiration from Eiffel Tower and Golden Gate Bridge which these structures are examples of light and strong for their size and by architectural design. It was found out that Eiffel Tower is much taller and lighter compares to Pyramids of Egypt. It was a breakthrough for modern buildings the same way to create by focusing on the structures of materials.

According to the lead scientist Tobias Schaedler their target is to revolutionize lightweight materials by adopting principles of architecture into their design. One of which is the aerospace station where it is important to have ultra-lightweight and design principles imposed.

“We’re envisioning applications in structural components, such as in aerospace,” Schaedler said. “Its energy-absorption capabilities might also make it useful for acoustic-, vibration- and shock-damping. We can control the architecture on the millimeter, micrometer and nanometer scales, to design materials with tailored properties for specific applications, if we want.”

The team of researchers also experimenting other kinds of materials such as diamond, polymers, and ceramics to make any architectural forms of a web of thin-film materials.

lightest material

Credit: REUTERS/Dan