Graphene Aerogel Is 99.8% Air, as Strong as Steel, and the World's Lightest Material

Chinese material scientists have created the world's lightest material - a graphene aerogel that is seven times lighter than air, and 12% lighter than the previous record.

The world's lightest 3-D printed structure is so lightweight that it can be placed on top of a cotton ball or the petals of a flower.

The record-breaking material is 3-D printed graphene aerogel and it was developed by Dong Lin, Kansas State University assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering; Chi Zhou, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at University at Buffalo; and Qiangqiang Zhang, an associate professor at Lanzhou University in China.

Guinness World Records has named the graphene aerogel as "the least dense 3-D printed structure." The 3-D printed graphene aerogel weighs 0.5 milligrams per cubic centimeter. The researchers developed the material in February 2016 and have received the official recognition from Guinness World Records. Their achievement will be featured in the Guinness World Records 2018 Edition.

"Graphene is a revolutionary material and it makes sense that its aerogel form would be just as important," Lin said. "Our 3-D printed graphene aerogel has important properties that give the material many applications for better electronics, batteries or semiconductors."

Not only is the 3-D printed material groundbreaking, but the way the researchers print the three-dimensional graphene is just as revolutionary.

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