Researchers at HRL Laboratories have developed the world’s lightest material with a density of 0.9 mg/cc, approximately one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam™. This new material redefines the limits of lightweight materials because of its unique “micro-lattice” cellular architecture. Basically, the team was able to make a material that consists of 99.99% air.
In addition to its ultra-low density, the material’s cellular architecture gives rise to unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50% strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption. In other words, this material will come in handy in battery electrodes, catalyst supports, and acoustic, vibration or shock energy damping.