Actualizado: 25 abr 2019
MIT’s graphene material has the world’s best strength to weight ratio: a team of researchers at MIT has designed one of the strongest and lightweight materials in the world, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene. this new material, a sponge-like configuration with a density of just 5 percent, yields the strength 10 times that of steel. two-dimensionally, graphene is widely considered as the strongest of all known materials. but researchers until now have had difficulty translating that two-dimensional strength into useful 3D materials.
The team was able to compress the flakes of graphene using a combination of heat and pressure. this process produced a strong, stable structure whose form is reminiscent of some corals and microscopic creatures called diatoms. these shapes, which have an enormous surface area in proportion to their volume, proved to be remarkably strong. once the team created these 3D structures, they wanted to see how far they could push this boundary and were asking, ‘what’s the strongest possible material we can produce?’. they created a variety of 3D models and then subjected them to various tests. in computer simulations, which mimic the loading conditions in the tensile and compression tests performed in a tensile loading machine, it was found that one of the samples has 5 percent the density of steel, but 10 times the strength.