HRL researchers originally made headlines with a famous image of a metal microlattice structure resting atop an unaffected dandelion. Now the material has been vetted and confirmed by the Guinness book as having no peer among metals when it comes to weight.
Boeing features HRL Laboratories in this video about the Microlattice, the lightest metallic structure ever made. At 99.99% air, it’s light enough to balance on top of a dandelion, while its structure makes it strong. Strength and record breaking lightness make it a potential metal for future planes and vehicles.
HRL Laboratories, LLC announced today that it will develop new ultra-lightweight materials for future aerospace vehicles and structures under NASA’s Game Changing Development Program. These new materials can enable NASA to reduce the mass of spacecraft for deep space exploration by 40 percent and are necessary for the journey to Mars and beyond.
According to Dr. Christopher Roper, HRL senior research staff engineer and co-author of “Enabling Ultra-Lightweight Structures: Microsandwich Structures with Microlattice Cores,” published in APL Materials, “Sandwich structures improve the performance of weight-sensitive vehicles like airplanes and helicopters because they’re lighter than solid materials.”
Researchers at HRL Laboratories, LLC, announced today they have developed the world’s lightest material with a density of 0.9 mg/cc, approximately one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam™.