26-09-2017 10:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
New material may be used in future aircraft and automobiles
An aluminium spoon will sink to the bottom if put in water as aluminium is denser than water. Scientists now have developed an ultra-light form of aluminum that floats on water which can be of great use in the production of automobiles and future aircraft.
Researchers from the Utah State University (USU) in the US resorted to computational modeling to restructure the conventional aluminium at the molecular level. The outcome was an ultra-light crystalline form of aluminium that’s lighter than water.
The team confirmed that the newly designed structure is a new, metastable, lightweight form of crystal aluminium.
While the density of conventional aluminium is 2.7 grammes per cubic centimetre, the new material has a density as low as 0.61 gramme per cubic centimetre. Alexander Boldyrev, from USU stated that the low density enables the new crystallised form of aluminium to float on water.
This property of aluminium opens a whole new realm of possible applications for the non-magnetic, corrosive-resistant, abundant, relatively inexpensive and easy-to-produce metal. Boldyrev said that the ultra aluminium can be used in spaceflight, medicine, wiring and more lightweight, more fuel-efficient automotive parts.
Although the strength of the new material has not been determined, Boldyrev believes the breakthrough discovery marks a novel way of approaching material design.