For the first time, a material called “microgrid”mentioned in the journal Science back in 2011. Despite the fact that the material is made of metal, it is 100 times lighter than polystyrene. The researchers succeeded in achieving this thanks to the lattice structure, because of which it consists of 99.9% of voids filled with air. The video that Boeing posted on its official channel a few days ago talks about how scientists developed this amazing material.
A piece of microgrid can be put on toppart of a dandelion, while the plant is unlikely to bend under the weight of this metallic material. For more than four years, scientists from HRL Laboratories have been working to achieve similar metal properties, inspired in their research with a variety of materials, including human bones, which are also porous inside. The human skeleton due to this is quite durable and light. The only difference between the micro lattice and our bones is that the pores inside the bone are randomly located, and the new material has a strictly ordered cavity structure.
Potentially, this material can be used invarious fields, however, scientists are not in a hurry to look into the future. The first thing that comes to mind when looking at the name of the Boeing company is the weight reduction of various aircraft parts, which will automatically lead to fuel economy. Following the aviation industry, the microgrid can find application in space programs, where the weight of the spacecraft is critical. General Motors, meanwhile, plans to use the new material in the automotive industry. Well, let's see what comes of all this a few years later.