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MIT makes compressed graphene sponge material that is 20 times less dense...

•, brian wang

A team of researchers at MIT has designed one of the strongest lightweight materials known, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon. The new material, a sponge-like configuration with a density of just 5 percent, can have a strength 10 times that of steel.

In its two-dimensional form, graphene is thought to be the strongest of all known materials. But researchers until now have had a hard time translating that two-dimensional strength into useful three-dimensional materials.

The new findings show that the crucial aspect of the new 3-D forms has more to do with their unusual geometrical configuration than with the material itself, which suggests that similar strong, lightweight materials could be made from a variety of materials by creating similar geometric features.


* light as stryofoam but stronger than steel
* 20 times less dense than steel but 10 times stronger
* could lead to a replacement for helium for strong yet light dirigible applications
* bringing 2D strength of graphene to 3D materials
* new range of lightness and strength combinations for different applications

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