New heavy-duty polymer material almost as tough as diamond
25 STRONGEST Materials Known to Man
Small bullet dents are clear evidence of the strength of lightweight porous polymer blocks made with a 3D printer..
Materials scientists at Rice University have studied carbon nanotube polymers (tubulans) that are expected, will be have extraordinary strength. However, these structures are still theoretical and scientists have yet to learn how to create them. Therefore, to test the developed computer models, the team decided to use the available materials..
In the course of research, scientists determined that tubulans can be simulated as scalable blocks of polymer tubes created with help three-dimensional printing. To test the developed models, the team fired projectiles into different types of cubes at a speed of 5.8 km / s..
Experiments have shown that lightweight porous structures stop bullets 10 times better than solid blocks of the same material, and the polymer lattice prevents cracks from breaking..
According to scientists, such structures can be made of plastic, metal, ceramics, and their size is limited only by the capabilities of a 3D printer. Topology optimization will improve materials used in industry, aerospace and automotive, civil engineering, sports, biomedicine.
We also previously reported on the creation of the blackest today a material that absorbs 99.96% of light.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: Rice University