Monday, 20 October 2008

Buckypaper potentially 500 times stronger than steel

Buckypaper, a new revolutionary material 10 times lighter but potentially 500 times stronger than steel when sheets of it are stacked and pressed together to form a composite. Unlike conventional composite materials, though, it conducts electricity like copper or silicon and disperses heat like steel or brass, and could be used to shield aircraft from lightening.

Buckypaper is made from carbon nanotubes - amazingly strong fibers about 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair that were first developed in the early 1990s. Buckypaper owes its name to Buckminsterfullerene, or Carbon 60 - a type of carbon molecule whose powerful atomic bonds make it twice as hard as a diamond.

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