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Ultralight 'super-material' is 10 times stronger than steel

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  • Ultralight 'super-material' is 10 times stronger than steel

    A spongy new super-material could be lighter than the flimsiest plastic yet 10 times stronger than steel.

    The new super-material is made up of flecks of graphene squished and fused together into a vast, cobwebby network. The fluffy structure, which looks a bit like a psychedelic sea creature, is almost completely hollow; its density is just 5 percent that of ordinary graphene, the researchers said.

    What's more, though the researchers used graphene, the seemingly magical properties of the material do not totally depend on the atoms used: The secret ingredient is the way those atoms are aligned, the scientists said.
    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/01/...han-steel.html

  • #2
    Super strong material are all nice and fancy but physics been physics in case of use as an armor (body or vehicle), the cinetic energy of any impact would have to disipate somewhere. Going stronger won't help from that pov. You need something strong enough and fluid enough to absorb that energy. But i admit that this new material can enter under that scope.

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    • #3
      Stiffness does not equal "strong", right?

      Anyway, think of shoes, clothes etc for a start

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      • #4
        Originally posted by N-rg View Post
        Stiffness does not equal "strong", right?

        Anyway, think of shoes, clothes etc for a start
        Correct. Broadly speaking, stiffness is the ability of a component to resist deformation to an applied force. Strength describes the ability of a material to resist damage. For example, I could have a part of 1 in^2 cross section that deforms 1" for every 1 lbf applied but never breaks or takes a permanent deformation. This material would have very low stiffness but infinite strength. I could have a dimensionally identical part that only deforms .00000001" for every 10,000 lbf applied but breaks after only 5 lbf have been applied. This part would be very stiff, but would have very low strength.

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        • #5
          I had to repeat Materials Science at university, something about me not studying and drinking too much.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by t3ngu View Post
            I had to repeat Materials Science at university, something about me not studying and drinking too much.
            ROFL! 10 drunken engineering students!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JimHPTN View Post

              Correct. ....
              Have a +1 like for the Materials Science lesson.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TheKiwi View Post

                Have a +1 like for the Materials Science lesson.
                Thanks! And thanks to N-rg for actually understanding the basic principles. I have junior engineers at work, who, are, well, shall we say, struggling with that very concept.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JimHPTN View Post

                  Thanks! And thanks to N-rg for actually understanding the basic principles. I have junior engineers at work, who, are, well, shall we say, struggling with that very concept.
                  We had a graduate a few years back that we actually went back to their university to see if they actually went there. They were missing big piles of fundamentals, stuff first years learn.

                  I hated statistics at Uni, so I made one undergraduate one year do all my statistics for a project. Afterward they thanked me as they got the top statistic mark for that year. I like to think my laziness benefits others.
                  Last edited by t3ngu; 16-01-2017, 11:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by N-rg View Post
                    Stiffness does not equal "strong", right?

                    Anyway, think of shoes, clothes etc for a start
                    Yes. The endless debate over which bicycle frame material one should use will not end despite many material advances.

                    Alloy frames can be incredibly stiff but not "strong" as they can prone to fatigue cycle cracking.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kilgor View Post
                      Yes. The endless debate over which bicycle frame material one should use will not end despite many material advances.
                      Alloy frames can be incredibly stiff but not "strong" as they can prone to fatigue cycle cracking.
                      titanium frames are the best.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kilgor View Post

                        Yes. The endless debate over which bicycle frame material one should use will not end despite many material advances.

                        Alloy frames can be incredibly stiff but not "strong" as they can prone to fatigue cycle cracking.
                        I remember my old hard tail frame with was a Giant Alloy frame, holy crap that thing was rigid. Didn't have any give, unlike the CroMo i had before it.

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                        • #13
                          Stronger than steel you say?

                          Perfect graphene is believed to be the strongest material. However, the useful strength of large-area graphene with engineering relevance is usually determined by its fracture toughness, rather than the intrinsic strength that governs a uniform breaking of atomic bonds in perfect graphene. To date, the fracture toughness of graphene has not been measured. Here we report an in situ tensile testing of suspended graphene using a nanomechanical device in a scanning electron microscope. During tensile loading, the pre-cracked graphene sample fractures in a brittle manner with sharp edges, at a breaking stress substantially lower than the intrinsic strength of graphene. Our combined experiment and modelling verify the applicability of the classic Griffith theory of brittle fracture to graphene. The fracture toughness of graphene is measured as the critical stress intensity factor of and the equivalent critical strain energy release rate of 15.9 J m-2. Our work quantifies the essential fracture properties of graphene and provides mechanistic insights into the mechanical failure of graphene.


                          http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014NatCo...5E3782Z

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JimHPTN View Post

                            Correct. Broadly speaking, stiffness is the ability of a component to resist deformation to an applied force. Strength describes the ability of a material to resist damage. For example, I could have a part of 1 in^2 cross section that deforms 1" for every 1 lbf applied but never breaks or takes a permanent deformation. This material would have very low stiffness but infinite strength. I could have a dimensionally identical part that only deforms .00000001" for every 10,000 lbf applied but breaks after only 5 lbf have been applied. This part would be very stiff, but would have very low strength.
                            This drives me insane whenever I see an article discussing a new "super strong" material. I never know what properties they're actually referring to.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by merk666 View Post
                              titanium frames are the best.
                              Yeah, but titanium is evil from a cost standpoint.

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