Stronger Than Steel, Harder Than Diamonds


NanotechbuckypaperbgWorking with a material 10 times lighter than steel – but 250 times stronger – would be a dream come true for any engineer. If this material also had amazing properties that made it highly conductive of heat and electricity, it would start to sound like something out of a science fiction novel.

Yet one Florida State University research group, the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies (FAC2T), is working to develop real-world applications for just such a material…

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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