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MIT Just Made Strongest Material In Existence

Homemade Graphene.Do the things you cannot do/Flickr

Thanks to advancements in metallurgy and material science, humans have been able to create objects that surpassed the toughness of diamonds for decades. Now, a new advancement in the field was just achieved by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by making the single most durable material in existence.

Previously, the strongest material known to mankind was graphene, Futurism reports, which is basically an extremely thin sheet made of carbon atoms that are stacked to occupy two dimensions. Unfortunately, for all its toughness, it was next to useless because it didn’t have the kind of practical applications that things like steel had. This is where the brilliant idea to fuse graphene sheets came in.

By taking little pieces of graphene and then turning them into a single, porous construct, the end result is a material that is ten times the durability of stainless steel while only being five percent as dense. This immediately opens up a significant number of potential applications, not least of all the construction of towering structures that were previously impossible to build because of the weight of the materials that were available.

According to Markus Buehler, the head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, there are numerous applications for the material. It can either be used in conjunction with other existing materials or on its own. Aside from the graphene construct itself, other materials could also potentially benefit from the geometry of the material since that also contributed to its strength.

“You could either use the real graphene material or use the geometry we discovered with other materials, like polymers or metals,” Buehler said. “You can replace the material itself with anything. The geometry is the dominant factor. It’s something that has the potential to transfer to many things.”

In the end, the material isn’t adamantium, but it’s still an impressive discovery. It’s one that could even allow such structures as a space elevator.

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