• Question: what is the strongest material on the planet?

    Asked by batmansymbol to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Diamond is pretty strong.. we’ve all heard of diamond coated blades.

      Carbon nano fibres are a new thing which have been contested as a super strong material… I;ll let you do your own research on that one! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      There are actually different ways of measuring strength or hardness. Diamond is the hardest material, but it can sometimes be fractured. Artificial diamonds can be stronger than natural diamonds due to super-pure crystal latices, and doping with other elements.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Diamond is the strongest…but it depends what you mean – you wouldn’t make a bullet proof vest from diamonds – bit expensive!!

      Graphene is also really strong – its carbon in another form, in fact it may even be stronger than diamond. Graphene is a completely new materialโ€“ not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper and as a conductor of heat it outperforms all other known materials. It is almost completely transparent, yet so dense that not even helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov got the Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 for its discovery!!!

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Wow! I love your name batmansymbol!! That is so cool!

      Diamonds are pretty tough, but my impression was that Steel was the world’s strongest material (diamonds are the hardest but that is not necessarily the strongest!!). Hence the Man of Steel, for us comic book fans =) I just did a quick google search, and apparently its not steel anymore (too bad for clark kent!). Apparently graphene has overtaken steel: http://gizmodo.com/5673621/giz-explains-whats-the-strongest-material-known-to-man
      And, even more recently there is a material called metallic glass: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-01/new-metallic-glass-toughest-strongest-material-yet! So basically we are continually engineering even more impressive materials …. however I am still not convinced we have the Kryptonians beat!