Researchers at MIT have designed a strong and lightweight material, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene. The new material, a sponge-like configuration with a density of just 5%, can have a strength 10 times that of steel. This work could pose an interesting way of transforming graphene into useful 3D objects and items.
The team developed the product by using a combination of both heat and pressure, compressing and fusing the flakes of graphene together. This process produced a strong, stable structure whose form resembles that of some corals and microscopic creatures called diatoms. These shapes, which have an enormous surface area in proportion to their volume, proved to be remarkably strong.