Boeing Has Developed The Lightest Metal Ever

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Boeing says it has made the lightest metal. Light enough to be balanced on top of a dandelion, yet, maintain its structural integrity when under great stress. Some airplane companies are seeking to increase the efficiency of their planes by simply rearranging the configuration of their seats, while Boeing is looking for ways to make its planes better.

This metal structure is 99.99 percent air, which explains its ability to balance on top of delicate weeds, and it’s 100 times lighter than Styrofoam. Researchers from Boeing’s HRL Laboratories were able to achieve this innovation by creating a metallic microlattice structure, which researchers explain as “a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.”

Boeing says it has made the lightest metal. Light enough to be balanced on top of a dandelion, yet, maintain its structural integrity when under great stress. Some airplane companies are seeking to increase the efficiency of their planes by simply rearranging the configuration of their seats, while Boeing is looking for ways to make its planes better.
This metal structure is 99.99 percent air, which explains its ability to balance on top of delicate weeds, and it’s 100 times lighter than Styrofoam. Researchers from Boeing’s HRL Laboratories were able to achieve this innovation by creating a metallic microlattice structure, which researchers explain as “a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.”

The microlattice gets its strength from this “open cell” structure, which mirrors that of human bones. It’s solid on the outside, but filled with a light marrow on the inside. The microlattice’s “marrow” is a small network of interconnected tubes, which prevents the structure from breaking.
The metal used in the microlattice structure wasn’t mentioned in its latest release. However, we do know from the prototypes shown back in 2011 that a nickel-phosphorus alloy material was used.
HRL Technical Director, Gail Taylor-Smith, explained the far-reaching applications this revolutionary material could have on space exploration. “With mechanical properties that allow the substance to flex,” she said, “we might one day be able to compress space systems to reduce deployed volume, but once in orbit could be expanded to normal size, like a pop-up satellite.”
But before we look to the stars with this material, researchers have dreams of making more efficient airplanes and cars. It could help in shock absorption, making cars safer, and possibly help increase baggage space in planes.

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