Aero Graphite - it even sounds built for cycling

by CarbonBreaker   July 18, 2012  

Spotted this on the wired site. At some point you have to think the UCI are going to give up on the minimum weight...

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0.2 milligrams per cubic cm! They could make the frames out of solid tubing and still not end up with a bike heavy enough to race.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3724 posts]
18th July 2012 - 10:26

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A team of researchers from the Technical University of Hamburg and the University of Kiel say they have discovered the world's lightest material. They call it aerographite.

The material is a matrix of hollow carbon tubes, which are grown at the nano and micro scales. The complex lattice is mostly empty space -- in fact, it's composed of about 99.99 percent air. In all, the material weighs just 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimetre.

"We were looking for three-dimensionally cross-linked carbon structures, and we discovered this material," said Karl Schulte, from Hamburg's Institute for Composite Materials.

It has some incredible structural properties, too. It can be compressed until it's 1,000 times smaller, and then it will spring back to its original size. It can support over 40,000 times its own weight, and conducts electricity.

The previous material to hold the record for "world's lightest" was a micro-lattice material with a density of 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimetre. It was so light that a block of the stuff could sit on a dandelion head without squashing it.

I want some.

Wasn't there something called aerogel designed by nasa that was a solid lighter than air?

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
18th July 2012 - 22:42

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At which point does a bike become unridable because it is so light? I think it's true application could be bikes for overweight Sportive riders looking to get to the same bike/rider weight as a Pro.

Why doesn't the UCI go further and issue a minimum combined weight limit? Or what about handicapping system like horse racing? The best rider has to use the steel Apollo from Halfords and the Laterne Rouge gets the Evo Speed Six?


posted by arrieredupeleton [587 posts]
19th July 2012 - 9:53

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I think its a matter of cost. The UCI will always keep a weight limit as long as the bikes remain affordable for the Average Joe... (obv £7k is at the extremities of this already). I can see the weight limit being reduced in the future, as long as costs don't spiral to avoid an F1-style arms-race where no punter could ever dream of driving a car on the public highway with KERS, a front-wing and any other new-fangled piece of space-technology that is the rage at the time. Smile

That aside, aerographite sounds amazing. Nerd

samjackson54's picture

posted by samjackson54 [60 posts]
19th July 2012 - 18:05

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I would be a bit peed off if I spent 7 grand on a bike and it turned into a load of pencil shavings the next time I hit a pothole, even if it weighed 2kg.

Only good at sitting-down sports

posted by kayakboyuk [41 posts]
22nd July 2012 - 1:05

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