HRL's breakthrough development of ultralight microlattice materials recognized

Oct 05, 2012

Researchers from HRL Laboratories are among the honorees of Popular Mechanics' 2012 Breakthrough Awards for their development of ultralight microlattice materials.

Drs. William Carter, Alan Jacobsen and Tobias Schaedler were recognized during a ceremony October 4 at the Hearst Tower in New York City. Breakthrough Awards are presented annually by the magazine to "innovators whose work will transform the world in years to come."

The researchers' innovative "microlattice" architected material and the novel fabrication process developed at HRL to produce it were first announced in 2007. Demonstration of ultralight metallic microlattices was published in the November 17, 2011, issue of Science.

The iconic image of a super light metallic microlattice material atop a tuft of dandelion shows the dramatic possibilities offered by the microlattice fabrication process developed at HRL. With a density of only 0.9 mg/cc, the material developed in 2011 was at the time the lightest ever, approximately one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam. Its unique "microlattice" cellular architecture consisted of a lattice of interconnected nickel tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Since their 2011 announcement, the HRL researchers have been investigating the numerous potential uses for ultralight microlattice materials. By modifying the cellular architecture—for example, the wall thickness, tube diameter or cell size—a wide range of densities and properties can be achieved. Exceptionally high strength and stiffness per weight can be reached, and the unique enables unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50% strain and extraordinarily high .

The material, initially developed for the , could be used for lightweight structures, battery electrodes, catalyst supports, and acoustic, vibration or shock energy damping.

The HRL researchers attended the Breakthrough conference, during which Dr. Carter participated on a 45-minute panel on "The Innovation Economy." The Breakthrough Awards were presented that evening during a reception and dinner.

Explore further: Recycling industrial waste water: Scientists discover a new method of producing hydrogen

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

World's lightest material developed

Nov 17, 2011

A team of researchers from UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology have developed the world's lightest material – with a density of 0.9 mg / cc – about 100 times lighter ...

Microstructural improvements enhance material properties

Sep 14, 2012

Exquisite buildings like the Eiffel Tower were made possible because of advances in structural engineering design methods. Truss structures, like the Eiffel Tower, are highly efficient; they can carry the ...

Recommended for you

A greener source of polyester—cork trees

2 hours ago

On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you'd be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester (not at all) and cork (very). In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out ...

A beautiful, peculiar molecule

5 hours ago

"Carbon is peculiar," said Nobel laureate Sir Harold Kroto. "More peculiar than you think." He was speaking to a standing-room-only audience that filled the Raytheon Amphitheater on Monday afternoon for the ...

Metals go from strength to strength

Apr 15, 2014

To the human hand, metal feels hard, but at the nanoscale it is surprisingly malleable. Push a lump of metal with brute force through a right-angle mould or die, and while it might look much the same to the ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature

Researchers at Griffith University's Eskitis Institute have developed a new technique for discovering natural compounds which could form the basis of novel therapeutic drugs.

A greener source of polyester—cork trees

On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you'd be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester (not at all) and cork (very). In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out ...

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...