As has been announced in many scientific journals, graphene is one of the most resistant and at the same time light forms of carbon that humans can generate. If to this we also add the possibility of manufacturing complex structures that offer techniques such as 3D printing, we can obtain as a result compounds as impressive as the one that has just been inscribed in the Guinness Book of Records such as lightest 3D printed structure on the planet.
For this, instead of working with graphene as such, a kind of airgel, very similar to any gel you may know, in which the component liquid has been replaced by gas. Thanks to this system, as you can see at the top of this post, it has been possible to design a structure that can be placed on the petals of a flower while, in terms of hardness, it can be up to 10 times stronger than steel.
Thanks to 3D printing, the lightest graphene structure on the planet has been designed
As he commented Chi Zhou, one of the researchers who have been in charge of this investigation:
Graphene is a revolutionary material and it is quite logical that airgel does it even more. Our 3D printed graphene airgel has interesting properties and allows the material to be used for many more applications such as electronics to create batteries or semiconductors.
To achieve this structure, the researchers used a dual-nozzle inkjet printer to create graphene airgel. Thanks to this method, can 3D print droplets of the material in a mixture of graphene oxide and water in a tray that should be at -20 degrees Celsius. With this it is possible to produce a structure of ice of graphene and cold water that allows the graphene to maintain its shape.
Once this structure has been created, through lyophilization, the water is removed from the material so that the graphene airgel obtained at that time can maintain its shape.