The lightest metal ever is 99.9% air

microlattice
Video screen capture Boeing / YouTube

Boeing has developed what they are calling the lightest metal ever and it's 99.9 percent air. The material called Microlattice appears solid from the outside, but inside it actually has an open cellular structure similar to bone or honeycombs, which allows it to be both super durable and lightweight.

The material will soon be used by Boeing in airplanes and rockets to cut down on their weight, create more room within the fuselage and increase fuel efficiency, all while still being tough enough to endure the rigors of flight.

The mesh material is compressible which allows it to absorb energy as well as materials much thicker and heavier than it. Sophia Yang, research scientist of architected materials at HRL Labs, who worked on the material for Boeing says that one layer wrapped around an egg would allow it to survive a 25-story drop unscathed.

microlattice close upBoeing / YouTube/Video screen capture

It's so light that if you blow on it in your hand it floats to the ground like a feather and doesn't compress a dandelion when sat on top of it.

With better technology, these new material breakthroughs are becoming more common, which is a good thing. These new lightweight materials are able to replace much bulkier ones, making our vehicles, aircraft and even our gadgets more lightweight and energy efficient.

You can watch a video about Microlattice below.

Tags: Airplanes | Fuel Efficiency | Materials | Technology

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