Will Cool Cars of the Future be Made of Buckypaper? It’s Five Hundred Times Stronger than Steel (and Ten Times Lighter)

Buckypaper is a material composed of carbon nanotubes. It is 10 times lighter and over 500 times stronger than steel and the “buckytubes” that make it up are 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. It is predicted by futurists that this material will storm the auto and aviation industries.

One of the best ways to make transportation vehicles more energy efficient is to reduce their weight, so the commercialization of buckypaper promises lighter, super efficient and much stronger vehicles.

Wikipedia explains:

“Buckypaper is a macroscopic aggregate of carbon nanotubes (CNT), or “buckytubes”. The idea for buckypaper came when British scientist Harry Kroto and Rice University scientists were attempting to create the conditions found in a star when it forms elemental carbon. It owes its name to buckminsterfullerene, the 60 carbon fullerene (an allotrope of carbon with similar bonding that is sometimes referred to as a “Buckyball” in honor of R. Buckminster Fuller).”

Some of the possible uses of this new material include:

  • better bikes, boats, sports equipment, cars, aircraft, computers and more
  • shielding airplanes from lightning, as well as magnetic interference
  • a new way to disperse heat fast and conduct electricity
  • building electronic parts such as super capacitors and batteries
  • as a heat dissipation material for laptops and other devices

Source: inhabitat

Image Credits: Above left image of Buckypaper is by Raywhitby under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Right image of a Buckyball (a.k.a. Fullerene) rendering is in the public domain.

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