2011/11/26

263-Multidisciplinary team of researchers develop world’s lightest material


カリフォルニア大学アーバイン校およびHRL研究所、カリフォルニア工科大学の研究チームによって共同開発された画期的な素材。99.99%は空気、0.01%の部分は100ナノメーターの壁でできた金属チューブを相互に接続して格子状に組み立てるという。その密度は、1立方メートルあたり0.9ミリグラムしかなく、発泡スチロールの約1%となり、タンポポのうえに載せても柔らかい綿毛が潰れない。耐久力実験に半分に圧縮されても、依然として元の形に戻ることができて、弾力性にも強い。ただいま研究中だが、今後、バッテリーの電極や防音材、防振材、衝撃吸収材などへの応用が期待されている。


UCI mechanical and aerospace engineer plays key role
— Irvine, Calif., November 17, 2011 —
A team of researchers from UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology have developed the world’s lightest material – with a density of 0.9 mg/cc – about one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam™. Their findings appear in the Nov. 18 issue of Science.
The new material redefines the limits of lightweight materials because of its unique “micro-lattice” cellular architecture. The researchers were able to make a material that consists of 99.99 percent air by designing the 0.01 percent solid at the nanometer, micron and millimeter scales. “The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair,” said lead author Dr. Tobias Schaedler of HRL.


The material’s architecture allows unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50 percent strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption.


“Materials actually get stronger as the dimensions are reduced to the nanoscale,” explained UCI mechanical and aerospace engineer Lorenzo Valdevit, UCI’s principal investigator on the project. “Combine this with the possibility of tailoring the architecture of the micro-lattice and you have a unique cellular material.”


Developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the novel material could be used for battery electrodes and acoustic, vibration or shock energy absorption.


William Carter, manager of the architected materials group at HRL, compared the new material to larger, more familiar edifices: “Modern buildings, exemplified by the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge, are incredibly light and weight-efficient by virtue of their architecture. We are revolutionizing lightweight materials by bringing this concept to the nano and micro scales.”
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led byChancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.
http://today.uci.edu/news/2011/11/nr_lightmetal_111117.php


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