New laser-printed material is lighter than water, as strong as steel

Jens Bauer

Materials shape human progress—think Stone Age or Bronze Age. The 21st century has been referred to as the molecular age, a time when scientists are beginning to manipulate materials at the atomic level to create new substances with astounding properties.

Taking a step in that direction, Jens Bauer, at the Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT), and his colleagues have developed a bone-like material that is less dense than water but as strong as some forms of steel. “This is the first experimental proof that such materials can exist,” Bauer said.

Material world

Since the Industrial Revolution, our demand for new materials has outstripped supply. We want these materials to do many different things, from improving the speed of computers to withstanding the heat when entering Mars’ atmosphere. However, a key feature of most new materials remains in their strength and stiffness—that is, how much load can they carry without bending or buckling.

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via Ars Technica


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