A pioneering manufacturing process that can turn titanium, stainless steel and many other metals into a new breed of engineering components could have a big impact across industry.
Unlike conventional solid-metal components, the new parts have a tiny lattice-like structure, similar to scaffolding but with poles twice the diameter of a human hair, making them ultra-light. Because loads are channelled along the poles, the parts can comprise up to 70% air while remaining strong enough to perform correctly.
The components could replace solid metal in integrated circuits, automotive applications and many other fields of engineering. Aircraft parts, for example, could be produced that are over 50% lighter than conventional alternatives. The reduction in aircraft weight would cut fuel requirements, bringing down the cost of air travel and reducing the emissions produced by the combustion of aviation fuels that are a major contributor to climate change.
Natasha Richardson | alfa
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