Boeing has released a new video showcasing a super-light material made of hollow, metallic tubes, and reportedly 100 times lighter than Styrofoam.
RT reports that the “3D open cellular polymer structure” is made of “interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair”. The Boeing video notes that the micro-lattice material, which it dubs the “LIGHTEST. METAL. EVER.”, is 99.9 per cent air.
The micro-lattice was first reported in 2011. A BBC report from November that year gives its density as 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimetre, lighter than silica aerogels. The material came about through research by University of California, Irvine; HRL Laboratories; and the California Institute of Technology.
Sophia Yang, Research Scientist – Architected Materials at HRL Laboratories, said a major application being examined is in aerospace structural components, mentioning sidewall panels, stow bins and floor panels.