MIT researchers have developed a spongelike material 10 times stronger than steel

Stainless steel? Don’t make us laugh! A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has just developed one of the strongest lightweight materials known to man, woman and, well, frankly every living creature on Earth. Formed by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene using a combination of heat and pressure, the resulting creation boasts a sponge-like configuration with just 5 percent density of steel — but 10 times its strength.

Based on all-around wonder material graphene, MIT’s new discovery is described this month in the journal Science Advances. The new 3D graphene material has a labyrinthine structure composed of a continuous surface of its 2D counterpart.

“The curvature of the surface in the 3D space is caused by distribution of pentagon and heptagon rings in [a] certain way, making the geometry feature different from planar 2D graphene, which is composed of carbon atoms that are arranged in hexagonal rings,” researcher Zhao Qin told Digital Trends.

The material was created in a lab at MIT using a high-resolution, multi-material 3D printer.

mit material 10x steel figure 3 2

It’s not just strength that’s exciting about the new graphene material, however. Two-dimensional flat sheets of graphene are immensely strong, but due to their incredible thinness, aren’t particularly useful for making 3D materials which can be used in the real world. That no longer has to be the case.

“Having the ability to design and predict the mechanical function of such porous 3D carbon material will allow us to reach a series of lightweight bulk materials, with known density and mechanical functions, for wide engineering applications,” Qin continued. “These applications in architecture, infrastructure, and the building world in general may eventually help to reduce the usage of the conventional materials, such as steel, and hence effectively reduce the building weight and handling labor cost. The high strength and high chemical resistance of such carbon materials can also help to make architecture and infrastructure more resilient.”

In other words, and with any luck. graphene houses — here we come!

Emerging Tech

Sick of fruits and veggies going bad? This second skin doubles their life spans

The world has a food spoilage problem. Could Apeel Sciences help with its concept of giving fresh produce a 'second skin' to keep it fresh for up to twice as long? Some big names think so.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for February 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Outdoors

High-tech but low-key, these are the amazing materials inside your outdoor gear

We take a look at some of the materials that are used in the creation of our favorite outdoor gear, making our jackets, sleeping bags, tents, and other items warmer, drier, and more comfortable even in harsh weather conditions.
Product Review

Packed with features, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired makes home security a breeze

With an integrated spotlight, crystal-clear video, and color night vision, this device makes home security a cinch. Here's why we like the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired as a great choice for outdoor home security.
Health & Fitness

Immune cell discovery takes us one step closer to a universal flu vaccine

A group of international researchers have made a discovery which could take us one step closer to the universal, one-shot flu vaccine that people around the world have been dreaming of.
Photography

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.
Deals

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…
Movies & TV

Hilarious new Kickstarter aims to fix Scorcese’s last scene in The Departed

A fan of The Departed and apparent hater of rat-as-symbolism imagery has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally erase the rodent from the end of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 movie.
Emerging Tech

Baristas beware, Bbox cafe uses robots to brew your morning coffee

Want your morning coffee and pastry prepared by robot? Bbox, a new coffee shop in downtown Berkeley, California, lets customers place their order by app and then uses automation to take care of the rest.
Emerging Tech

This ridiculous new flamethrower makes Elon Musk’s look like a cigarette lighter

The XL18 Flamethrower is a flame-shooting beast on steroids, capable of firing off bursts of flame more than 110 feet in length. The best part? You can order it over the internet today.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX just nailed its most challenging Falcon 9 rocket landing to date

If you've been following the SpaceX launch calendar, you know this week marks the first launch from Cape Canaveral in two months. We have the details on where you can watch the launch live.
Emerging Tech

Touchdown! Japan successfully lands its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on asteroid Ryugu

Japan's space agency has just completed the latest stage of its extraordinarily complex mission, successfully landing its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on an asteroid millions of miles from Earth.
Emerging Tech

Delivery drones: NASA to test advanced traffic control system for cities

Delivery drone services are edging closer as NASA prepares to demonstrate its advanced drone traffic management system, which it claims offers safe and effective control of autonomous aircraft in urban areas.
Emerging Tech

Kickstarter campaign aims to help make 3D-printed space habitats for Mars

Mars X-House is an ambitious project that's intended to create a prototype future Mars habitat using 3D printing. And, thanks to a new Kickstarter campaign, you can be a part of it.