The World’s Strongest Material
Kyle Maxey posted on October 14, 2013 | 57868 views

material, engineering, steel, graphene, carbyne, rice, strong, world, recordComputer models at Rice University prove that Carbyne is the world’s strongest material.

For the past century materials engineers have been developing materials that are ever stronger. While a focus on metals led the charge, in recent decades nano-materials are proving themselves to be among the strongest materials on Earth.

According to a Rice press release, “Carbyne is a chain of carbon atoms held together by either double or alternating single and triple atomic bonds.”

With this simple structure, carbyne has proven itself to be some 200 times stronger than steel and has double the tensile strength of graphene, the previous champion of nanomaterials.

“You could look at it as an ultimately thin graphene ribbon, reduced to just one atom, or an ultimately thin nanotube,” said Boris Yakobson professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rice. “It could be useful for nanomechanical systems, in spintronic devices, as sensors, as strong and light materials for mechanical applications or for energy storage.”

Although carbyne has been synthesized at room temperature in the past, scientists have yet to find a method to produce the material in bulk. If that breakthrough could be achieved, a new era of light, strong materials could impact industries both here on Earth and up in space.

Image Courtesy of Vasilii Artyukhov/Rice University

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