A team of engineers claims to have created the world’s lightest material. The substance is made out of tiny hollow metallic tubes arranged into a micro-lattice - a criss-crossing diagonal pattern with small open spaces between the tubes. The researchers say the material is 100 times lighter than Styrofoam and has “extraordinarily high energy absorption” properties.
Made out of 90% nickel and consisting of 99.9% air, the new material, dubbed "ultralight metallic microlattice," is light enough to be balanced atop a dandelion without crushing the fuzzy seeds.
The team presented its finidings in the November 18th issue of the peer-review magazine Science. In the article, lead author Tobias Shandler said, "The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair."
The new micro-lattice material is so light that it can sit atop dandelion fluff without damaging it.
[via LA Times]