The Chemical lightest metals
The chemical lightest metal are Lithium (density of 0.534 g/cm3), Potassium (density 0.862 g/cc), and Sodium (density 0.971 g/cc) are all alkali metals.
The reason they are so light is because these elements are the first atoms in their period on the periodic table to gain an additional electron shell.
As long as those metal are chemical light but they are not used in Aircrafts.
Which metal is used to make aircraft?
Titanium (Density 4.54 g/cc) is also used in the design of aircraft structures as it is a lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant metal.
This material is employed in the manufacture some of the engine components, together with specifically designed heat resistant alloys, such as Nickel-based super alloys.
Most airplanes today are made out of aluminum (density 2.702 g/cc), a strong, yet lightweight metal.
The Ford Tri-Motor, the first passenger plane from 1928, was made out of aluminum.
The modern Boeing 747 is an aluminum airplane as well. Other metals, such as steel and titanium, are sometimes used to build aircraft.
Boeing files a lot of patents.
From the filing for a force field to protect planes from blasts mid-air in 2012 to a laser-powered fusion engine earlier this year, these are all patents for potential uses of technology that may or may not become a commercial reality.
Boeing announced they had created the world’s lightest metal in 2011 with scientists from HRL Laboratories, a lab that works on making real-world technology solutions with member companies like Boeing and General Motors
Lightest Metal Ever
A metal microlattice developed by Boeing and HRL Laboratories has just been awarded the Guinness World Record for lightest metal.
Made from nickel phosphorus, the microlattice emulates human cell structure, reaching a density and surface area similar to lung tissue.
At 99.99 percent air, it’s light enough to balance on top of a dandelion, while its structure makes it strong.
So light it can be balanced on the top of a dandelion seed head, the material weighs in at approximately 100 times lighter than styrofoam.
“The point of achieving the record for lightest metal was to show the flexibility of the manufacturing process,” said Bill Carter, Director of the Sensors and Materials Laboratory at HRL.
“With the same process, we can produce a strong and useful material that can be made with the density of aluminum all the way down to well below the density of air (excluding the air inside).
Achieving a density at any point between those requires only a small change in the creation process. It can be done quickly, relatively inexpensively, and made to order.”
To build the microlattice, a customizable polymer template is constructed through a “self-forming photopolymer waveguide process” and then electroplated with a layer of nickel-phosphorus with a thinness of approximately 80 nanometers, about 1,000 times thinner than the width of a human hair.
The polymer is then removed using a chemical process.
The resulting product is the ultra-thin material and is capable of absorbing large amounts of energy throughout its structure.
The manufacturing process is both rapid and scalable, leading HRL to anticipate the microlattice could viably be used in applications including insulation, heat exchange devices, catalytic converters, airplane wings, military helmets, vehicle blast protection, and even to develop an artificial lung.