Buckypaper could create future vehicles


What looks like ordinary carbon paper is actually known as “buckypaper”, and this flimsy appearance of a material could potentially turn the way TVs and even aeroplanes are constructed if it fulfills its early potential. According to scientists and researchers, buckypaper is roughly 10 times lighter than steel whenever you stack sheets of it and pressed together to form a composite, but it despite the relative lightness, it is 500 times stronger than the aforementioned steel as well. When peered through a microscope, buckypaper is constructed from tube-shaped carbon molecules which are 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. The unique properties of buckypaper makes this an exciting prospect to construct future aircraft as well as automobiles, not to mention computers, TV displays and a great deal of other products.

While science is a very exact discipline, there are times where providence comes along and throws new light on a certain subject in a truly unexpected manner. The buckypaper is one of them, and its history dates back all the way to 1985 when British scientist Harry Kroto joined researchers at Rice University for an experiment to create the same conditions that exist in a star. In the quest to discover how stars create carbon, but along the way an extra character turned up in a totally unexpected manner in the form of a molecule with 60 carbon atoms shaped like a soccer ball known as buckminsterfullerene, or “buckyballs” as an abbreviation. Over the years, scientists and researchers have done their part in working on buckyballs, where Japanese physicist Sumio Iijima managed to develop a tube-shaped variation which would stick together when disbursed in a liquid suspension and filtered through a fine mesh, resulting in a thin film known as buckypaper.

Looks like buckypaper could eventually evolve into the fabled adamantium that we read about in X-Men comics one day, judging by how fast technology progresses.

Source: Wired

One review or comment

Neagle Says: October 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Has anyone said anything about the flame/heat resistance of this product?

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