The lightest material in the world

Blog Post #2 | Noah Burson


Graphene aerogel is a material that the building industry should research to look at its applications in the built environment. This material lighter than helium is made of freeze dried carbon and graphing oxide. There have already a variety of possible uses that have been recognized such as absorption of oil and making use of it’s elastic properties.

In the field of architecture supporting loads in a building is one of the most evident things that needs to be established. Although this material doesn’t seem to have strong enough qualities to support large masses, the ability to apply such a light material to a building design could further architectural capabilities.

Experimentation with this super-low density material as insolation or as facade material along with other possibilities could show innovative solution to some of architectures load bearing problems. This material has the potential to limit building costs with less loads to carry.

The possibilities are copious, however, we don’t know what applications of this material will be successful. The cost of its production is something that may also make it difficult to move to market so architects have it as a design resource. But like many other things that come into production, if there is a demand seen for this product, production will become more efficient.

Perhaps not in the everyday home, but for truly innovative buildings, this material would could lead to even more incredible and effective designs if there is a push for architectural research behind it.





One comment

  1. kurtismachtemes

    Week 5 Comment 1
    Graphene Aerogel is a particularly intriguing material because of its astonishing material characteristics, particularly its density. This property lends itself to generate many innovative applications although I question the genuine usefulness of some of them, especially in architecture. This material contrasts the conventional architectural principle that a material must provide some solidarity and structure; for this reason Graphene Aerogel will have some limitations to how it could be applied. This material would require a substructure to hold it up and connect it to supports. This poses the the question if effects similar to that of graphene aerogel could be achieved with simpler, more cost-effective material.
    This material could probably be used better in a different field. For instance, this material is capable of absorbing large amounts of other substances, particularly oil. This could be put to use for sustainability purposes, possibly filtering pollution from the environment. Maybe that technology could be incorporated into buildings of the future to help the planet cope with the expanding human population.

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