4 Space-Age Materials to Construct Tomorrow

There are stronger, lighter (and kinder to the environment) construction materials that promise to reduce humankind’s impact on the planet. Here are four such futuristic materials.


Created by a team of scientists at the Hamburg University of Technology, Aerographite is a synthetic foam consisting of a porous interconnected network of tubular carbon. It’s one of the lightest structural materials ever created.

To give you an idea of how light Aerographite is: the air you’re breathing now is six times heavier. One cubic centimeter of Aerographite weighs just 0.2 milligram.


What’s even more impressive is the fact it’s antifragile. Stress exerted on Aerographite only makes it stronger.

Because Aerographite is electrically conductive, potential applications include improving the miles-per-charge ratio in electric vehical batteries and more efficient water filters.


Graphene Aerogel is a spongy substance made from freeze-dried carbon, and it is even lighter than aerographite. It weighs in at a tiny 0.16 milligram per cubic centimeter. That’s only twice as dense as hydrogen.


Due to the absorbent and elastic nature of Graphene Aerogel, it’s optimal application would be oil spill cleanup. Graphene Aerogel absorbs 900 times its own weight in oil and water, and the absorbed oil, water, and the Graphene Aerogel could be reused after the cleanup.


Not to be mistaken with the metal-eating plant capable of absorbing 18,000 PPM of nickel, pollution-eating concrete is a concrete mix that converts smog into water-soluable nitrates.

This exciting industrial solution was created by the Italcementi Group, an Italian firm.

Optimal application of this concrete mix is in architecture with large surface areas and direct sunlight in highly urbanized locations. Or scuptures, such as the six-metre ‘ENtreePIC’ that was showcased at Milan Expo 2015

Cost of the concrete is 30 to 40% more than the regular stuff, but test results in Milan showed a reduction in pollution of approximately 50%.


It’s estimated the rooftops of American see enough sunlight to meet between 50 percent and 100 percent of the nation’s energy needs. This energy can now be harnessed (without breaking the bank) because photovoltaic production costs have dropped dramatically.

DOW solar shingles - photo by Ben West

For those unfamiliar with photovoltaics, it’s a method of generating electrical power by converting the sun’s rays into electricity. The solar shingles are made of solar cells containing the photovoltaic material.

How that much awaited drop in manufacturing costs came about was due to a technological advance that allows rare earth metals like indium and gallium to be swapped for copper and zinc. Sourcing the raw materials for photovoltaics is now faster and cheaper.

The new shingles are installed in the same way as other shingles, making the installation cost similar if not competitive to conventional roofing materials.

Smithco Heat ExchangersBuffalo Turbines: Specializing in turbine rotor replacements for either single or multi-stage steam turbines.

For a quote or for expert help regarding to your industrial operations, call toll free at 1-888-317-8959 ext.26 today.