Scientists have created super-strong plastics for planes, cars, and ships


Electric cars are very heavy due to their huge batteries. In order to keep it decently light, we need to develop new materials that are light and very strong. Now a team of scientists led by the University of Glasgow has created a new 3D-printable retinal cell metamaterial that’s stronger and lighter than similar aluminum shapes.

This new 3D printed material can be used in the automotive, aerospace and other industries requiring strength and lightness. Image credit: fotokoci via Wikimedia

This new material is also called a metamaterial – it has a cellular structure, but is a solid that has properties that do not exist naturally. It features a 3D printed lattice structure with cross layers of panels that exhibit extraordinarily high stiffness and strength. This stiffness is one of the reasons why it is so stiff, but it is also very light, due to the huge amount of space between the panels (they are very porous). Scientists say that this metamaterial can be 3D printed for use in the marine, automotive, aircraft and other industries.

Scholars I decided to test three types of typical sheet clamps They designed and built it. One of the structures was a simple cube consisting of three intersecting panels. The second was a little more complex than the cube and the third was a multifaceted design. Tests are carried out to see what type of shock absorbers can be achieved in these structures. Scientists were dropping 16.7 kg of weight from a range of heights on these materials. They found that a hybrid design that incorporated elements from all three typical lattice designs was the most effective at absorbing impacts. In fact, it exhibited better impact properties than similarly designed miniature aluminum materials. This means that in many applications this new metamaterial can replace aluminum structures.

Scientists have tested many lattice piercings. Image credit: University of Glasgow

Scientists have developed this material from commonly used plastics, such as polypropylene and polyethylene – both of which are often used in packaging. They hardened it with carbon nanotubes, making it a compound. Dr Shanmujam Kumar, head of this research project, said: “The balance between the filaments designed for nano-carbon engineering that we developed as raw materials for 3D printing, and the hybrid composite plate designs that we created, really produced an exciting result. In pursuit of a lightweight engineering, there is an ongoing search for materials. Very lightweight and high performance.

Scientists can now create extremely tough, strong and rigid materials using carbon nanostructures and grid-plate cellular structures. 3D printing is becoming more and more advanced which means that we will soon see these materials manufactured in massive quantities.

Source: University of Glasgow

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