EWI Logo on Product Example

Someday soon this new material will need to be joined

July 25, 2012

Figure 1. A chunk of Aerographite with a water drop sitting on it. (Courtesy of Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel)

Recently, researchers in Germany reported the creation of “The World’s Lightest Material,” a new carbon-based material they dubbed “Aerographite” (see Figure 1). This material has a reported density of only 0.2 mg/cc, about 75 times less dense than styrofoam. Aerographite is believed to hold great promise for applications requiring high conductivity and light weight. It is also strong yet elastic, able to be compressed up to 95 percent of its thickness then spring back to its original dimensions when the load is removed. In addition, it’s superhydrophobic.

I love hearing about new materials like Aerographite. They stretch the boundaries of what is achievable in strength, energy efficiency, and service temperature. Most of the talk about Aerographite’s uses centers on batteries, filtration, and “wearable computing”. But to get to that point, manufacturers will need help figuring out how to join Aerographite to other materials.
And that’s where EWI comes in. We have already demonstrated the ability to join such wildly differing materials as graphite fiber tows and titanium, or pyrolitic graphite and tungsten alloys.

titanium and graphite fibers
Figure 2. EWI used ultrasonic soldering to join titanium and graphite fibers
What will Aerographite need to be joined to? Whatever it is, I hope EWI gets a crack at it. I think we have a pretty good shot at being able to make it stick.

Contact me with your light, heavy or moderate-weight joining challenge: Kirk Cooper, Sr. Engineer, Materials & Structural Integrity, at kcooper@ewi.org or 614.688.5069.