Scientists from the University of California and other institutions have created plate-nanolattices – nanometre-sized carbon structures – that are stronger than diamonds in terms of strength and density, according to a recent study.
“Scientists have predicted that nanolattices arranged in a plate-based design would be incredibly strong”, researcher Cameron Crook said. “But the difficulty in manufacturing structures this way meant that the theory was never proven until we succeeded in doing it.”
The manufactured nanolattices have the highest specific stiffness of any reported architected material and are better than the beam-nanolattices that are widely used in materials science and engineering, the research shows.
“Previous beam-based designs, while of great interest, had not been so efficient in terms of mechanical properties”, co-author of the article Jens Bauer added. “This new class of plate-nanolattices that we’ve created is dramatically stronger and stiffer than the best beam-nanolattices.”
The newly-designed plate-based nanolattices are expected to be of great use in the aerospace and aviation industry, as their combination of strength and low mass density should greatly improve aircraft and spacecraft performance.
Nanolattices are porous structures made up of three-dimensional carbon struts and braces. They are incredibly strong and lightweight because of their unique structure.