Short Bytes: Microlattice, a new metal, claims to be the lightest metal on earth, is fabricated by Boeing’s joint venture HRL Laboratories.
Metals have been one of the most useful and precious elements that exists on earth. Since the very first metal was discovered, the human race has been on a continuous expedition for newer metals, they’ve always wanted to make the most out of it. But the heavy weight metals have always been a topic of concern when it comes to creating big fat iron structures, thanks to newer metals alloys like Steel, which are lighter and provide enormous strength as compared to their naturally found grandpas like iron.
Boeing, an established player in the airline industry, hired some scientific minds to create the world’s lightest metal, and they’ve named it Microlattice, has a lattice like structure made of thin nickel tubes, which are interconnected to provide a rigid structure capable of sustaining high compression levels.
Every invention has is roots inspired by some awesome things created by our mother nature, and is so true for the new member in the metal family, inspires its structure from our very own bones, which are hollow inside but have enough strength to perfectly hold our body from the time we someone’s son until we are someone’s grandfather.
The nickel tubes are assigned the job to be an integral part of Microlattice, almost 1000 times thinner than human hair, having thickness of just 100 nanometer.
Microlattice can perform very well in the Egg Drop test, which involves dropping an egg wrapped in the bubble wrap having diameter of about a metre, but very few amount of Microlattice is required for this task, explains Sophia Yang, a HRL Laboratories research scientist. HRL Labs, a Boeing joint venture, is undertaking the development of Microlattice.
Boeing will harness the true potential of Microlattice to engineer exceptionally lighter, yet tougher planes as compared to today’s Boeing. This would add to the reduced fuel costs, an inevitable outlay for airline operators and for the passengers who are the real golden hen.
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