Superstar

Microlattice is the Lightest Metal on Earth

By: Meghan Young - Published: Nov 15, 2012 • References: popsci and neatorama
The lightest metal on earth has been developed and it has been dubbed microlattice. A hundred times lighter than styrofoam, microlattice may be able to sit on a dandelion without crushing its seeds, but don't be deceived by this feat. Microlattice might appear delicate, but it can bear a 50% compression stress load. Impressed yet?

Created by HRL Laboratories in collaboration with researchers at Caltech and UC Irvine, microlattice is purported for aerospace structural components. As light as a feather and strong as a spiderweb, microlattice achieves these wondrous qualities through a series of hollow tubes. According to Popular Science, "Researchers exposed a light sensitive liquid to UV light through a patterned mask, which created a three-dimensional photopolymer lattice. They then deposited a layer of nickel-phosphorous onto the polymer lattice, which was then etched." The result being microlattice.