At the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a team of researchers has designed a material from graphene with a shape that makes it ultra-resistant, but also ultra-light. For these researchers, this could be the future of lightweight infrastructure.
At MIT, in the United States, a team of researchers has designed a material obtained from graphene, this material composed of a single atom and with exceptional physical properties. After compressing graphene flakes, they 3D printed the resulting material with a shape that makes it capable of withstanding extreme pressures: only 5% of the density of steel which makes it capable of withstanding 10 times its strength.
Here, it is the shape of the object obtained, a shape of “coral” which offers surprising results, in particular the thickness of its walls. Indeed, when the object has very thick walls, it suddenly bursts under the pressure. Conversely, when its walls are very thin, it gradually collapses and maintains its shape longer as can be seen in the video below.
For MIT researchers, this particular shape could well represent the future, particularly in the construction of ultralight bridges or even insulation systems and other types of infrastructure. When we know the necessities of weight and surface gain for space exploration, we obviously think of possible applications in this field. For the engineer Zhao Qin who participated in the project, this material could be used to build ultralight structures in space.
Sources: Motherboard; Fast Company