New Material Is Lighter Than Plastic But Stronger Than Steel

New Material Is Lighter Than Plastic But Stronger Than Steel

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON, SOUTHAMPTON, UK. A group of scientists were able to develop silica nanofibres that are at least 15 times stronger than steel of the lightest weight which could be very beneficial for the marine and aviation industries. This development was a result of the quest to find ultra high strength composites through the Optoelectronics Research Centre of the University of Southampton.

Before the development of the silica nanofibres, carbon nanotubes were considered as the strongest available material. Normally, increasing the strength of fiber will require an increase to both its diameter and weight. However, things are different with this research.

The strength of the silica nanofibres increases when the size of it was decreased. As a result, a very strong material that stays lightweight is created. Unlike carbon nanotubes, silica nanofibres become less fragile and they don’t break like glass when they become even smaller. Instead, the silica nanofibres break like plastic as they become ductile.

Dr. Gilberto Brambilla of the Optoelectronics Research Centre is the head of the research. Currently, they are aiming to use nanowires to produce cheap and sustainable technology. At the same time, they are also very excited about the project because the materials needed to produce nanowires are two of the most common elements in the earth’s crust: silica and oxygen.

Invention Silica Nanofibres
Organization University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
Researcher Dr. Gilberto Brambilla
Field(s) Nanotechnology, Silica Nanofibres, Aviation, Marine, Safety Industries, Nanofibers
Further Information Laboratory News

Never miss an insight

Get insights delivered right to your inbox

More of Our Insights & Work
Popup Builder Mailchimp extension requires authentication.