Construction Technology of the Week: New 3-D Printed Construction Material Stronger Than Steel
A German research team from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is experimenting with a Nanoscribe 3D printer to form a new type of construction material. The tiny hair-like printed structures, 40 microns tall to be exact, are shown to be stronger than most of the conventional construction materials used today, including stainless steel.
“When compressed, they can withstand up to 40,611 psi of pressure, compared with stainless steel’s 30,458 psi. The material derives its Superman-like quality from its architecture: a honeycomb lattice inspired by the porous cellular structures that make wood and bone strong despite their light weight.”
This discovery could ultimately change the production of transportation, (air, space, water), vehicles and other types of machinery that are costly to make with weaker, less efficient materials. 3D printing is not only changing the construction industry by producing projects faster, (for example, 3-D printed homes), but it is now improving the materials used to complete those projects.
Do you think this new super strength construction material will replace steel and concrete down the road? If so, would your firm consider trying it on building projects in the near future? How will new materials, especially 3D printed materials, affect trade codes and safety regulations of the future?