New laser-printed material is lighter than water, as strong as steel | Ars Technica
February 3, 2014 Leave a comment
Did anyone else immediately want a boat made of this stuff?
With strength comparable to steel, it’s going to be able to take a lot of abuse compared to things like wood and at least some types of fiberglass. Being less dense than water, unlike steel, will do great things for bouyancy. Fewer design constraints placed on the vessel due to weak materials or the need for a bouyant shape, and a hull breech is likely to be less catastrophic.
It’s nowhere near the point where we could build anything that large out of the stuff, but it’s something to watch.
I can also imagine things like laptop and smartphone cases. Make those devices significantly sturdier and lighter at the same time.
OF course, “as strong as steel” is a fuzzy concept- something can be as strong as, or stronger than, steel- but still utterly fail in a particular application where steel is amazing. Still, this stuff is interesting and I’d love to see where they go with it, if/when they can start commercial scale production.