A new material has been created by researchers at MIT and Lawrence Livermore that is able to support 160,000 times its own weight.

This means materials with the density of aerogel, or frozen smoke as it's also known, but 10,000 times stiffer.

These kinds of materials could be used to create super-light yet strong aeroplanes, for example, that are far better for the environment. Or prosthetics that offer complexity without weighing any more than the original limb.

The material was created using 3D printing done with light. Using photosensitive feedstock, lattice moulds could be made with a metal 200 to 500 nanometres thick. When the lattice was removed there was this light yet strong metal material left. The process could also be done with ceramics and polymers.

The project was funded by Darpa. Perhaps that means we could start seeing super light-yet-strong robots being churned out sooner than we thought.

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