Author Topic: World's Lightest Material: Ultralight Micro-Lattice Material  (Read 1947 times)

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4352
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 8
Researchers have created the world's lightest material - the Ultralight Micro-Lattice Material - which is even lighter than aerogels:

http://www.dailytech.com/New+Metal+Nanomesh+is+Nearly+100+Times+Lighter+Than+Styrofoam/article23318.htm

http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/making-the-worlds-lightest-material.php


What kind of useful applications could this hold for space technology?
I'm assuming that like aerogels, this new material will also have desirable thermal and acoustic properties.

Could they perhaps be used as backer material for heat shield tiles, to connect them to the spacecraft hull?

Could they be used as a strong foam insulation around large fuel tanks, like the kind the Space Shuttle uses?

Could they be used to build a new generation of lighter-than-air floating platforms, which could hover on the edge of space, allowing unprecedentedly large space telescopes a clear view of the cosmos?

Could they be used to construct spacesuits that are thinner and lighter than ever before?

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
  • Liked: 182
  • Likes Given: 359
Researchers have created the world's lightest material - the Ultralight Micro-Lattice Material - which is even lighter than aerogels:

http://www.dailytech.com/New+Metal+Nanomesh+is+Nearly+100+Times+Lighter+Than+Styrofoam/article23318.htm

http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/making-the-worlds-lightest-material.php


What kind of useful applications could this hold for space technology?
I'm assuming that like aerogels, this new material will also have desirable thermal and acoustic properties.

Could they perhaps be used as backer material for heat shield tiles, to connect them to the spacecraft hull?

Could they be used as a strong foam insulation around large fuel tanks, like the kind the Space Shuttle uses?

Could they be used to build a new generation of lighter-than-air floating platforms, which could hover on the edge of space, allowing unprecedentedly large space telescopes a clear view of the cosmos?

Could they be used to construct spacesuits that are thinner and lighter than ever before?

Not sure it could be used in foam tank insulation it's probably too costly.

But it could find uses in some unexpected places.

Better fuel cells, maybe a filter for small thrusters to use in place of the screens they use today,shock absorbers for sensors and mirrors, a light weight spring for micro mechanical devices etc.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2011 02:12 AM by Patchouli »

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4352
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 8
Well, its organized structure seems to give it a particular resiliency and apparent shape memory that aerogels wouldn't have.

How about for making long-ish beams for space payloads? This would allow them to be folded while being placed inside a payload faring for transport. Then once in space, their natural resiliency would allow them to return to their original shape.

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
  • Liked: 182
  • Likes Given: 359
Well, its organized structure seems to give it a particular resiliency and apparent shape memory that aerogels wouldn't have.

How about for making long-ish beams for space payloads? This would allow them to be folded while being placed inside a payload faring for transport. Then once in space, their natural resiliency would allow them to return to their original shape.

If that could work the comsat guys will be all over this stuff even if it's expensive.

I can see them wanting to make antennas from this stuff.

The deployment system can become a set of pyros vs a complex set of motors and gear boxes.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2011 04:20 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Solman

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Liked: 9
  • Likes Given: 9
Well, its organized structure seems to give it a particular resiliency and apparent shape memory that aerogels wouldn't have.

How about for making long-ish beams for space payloads? This would allow them to be folded while being placed inside a payload faring for transport. Then once in space, their natural resiliency would allow them to return to their original shape.

 A related idea would be for backing structure for large solar concentrator mirrors.

Tags: