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Jul 14, 2021

Ultralight material withstands supersonic microparticle impacts

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

A new study by engineers at MIT, Caltech, and ETH Zürich shows that “nanoarchitected” materials—materials designed from precisely patterned nanoscale structures—may be a promising route to lightweight armor, protective coatings, blast shields, and other impact-resistant materials.

The researchers have fabricated an ultralight material made from nanometer-scale carbon struts that give the material toughness and mechanical robustness. The team tested the material’s resilience by shooting it with microparticles at , and found that the material, which is thinner than the width of a human hair, prevented the miniature projectiles from tearing through it.

The researchers calculate that compared with steel, Kevlar, aluminum, and other impact-resistant of comparable weight, the new material is more efficient at absorbing impacts.

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