Styrofoam is 100 times heavier than the world's lightest material which is 99.99% air.
A team of researchers from UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology have developed the world’s lightest material – with a density of 0.9 mg/cc – about one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam™.
The researchers were able to make a material that consists of 99.99 percent air by designing the 0.01 percent solid at the nanometer, micron and millimeter scales.
Dr. Tobias Schaedler of HRL says the trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow metal tubes with a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
The material’s architecture allows unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50 percent strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption.