The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has recently designed a new graphene compound that has a density of just five percent yet is ten times stronger than steel. The structural compound is the first to be able to make practical use of the strength of graphene, which is itself the strongest material known to science.
Graphene's potential as a super-strong material is not a newly discovered one. Researchers have known about graphene for a long time, but its natural form has stymied them in the past. Graphene is a two-dimensional form of carbon, with the thickness of a single atom. While incredibly strong in this two-dimensional structure, it is far too small to be practically useful.
The MIT researchers were able to create their 3D graphene compound by inventing a new geometrical configuration that folds the 2D material into a 3D shape.