Kriel University Creates World’s Lightest Material
The pace of technology continues to increase even while the form technology continues to get smaller. Cell phones are a prime example. They’ve gone from clunky field radio size to devices that can fit in your ear. Supporting new technology requires breakthroughs in materials as well as technology, and Kriel University has created an interesting new lighter-than-air material it calls “Aerographite.”
Aerographite weighs 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimeter, which makes it 75 times lighter than Styrofoam. The new material is jet-black, electrically conductive and ductile. It’s created by weaving porous carbon tubing in three-dimensions at the nano and micro level. In early July, researchers published a paper about Aerographite in the journal “Advanced Materials.”
Not only is the new material incredibly light, it is also fairly tough. Aerographite is able to withstand both compression and tension, unlike most ultralight materials. It is able to be compressed up to 95% and be pulled back into shape without suffering damage.
“Up to a certain point the Aerographite will become even more solid and therefore stronger than before,” said professor Rainer Adelung of Kiel University.
Kriel University researchers say Aerographite might be fit onto the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries. This would allow for only a minimal amount of battery electrolyte to be necessary, which would reduce the weight of the battery. Other potential applications include electrical conductivity of synthetic materials or even water purification.
Below you’ll find a short video that displays the new material. (I suggest muting the music.)
Source: Kriel University