I picked up on the idea of bubble metal maybe twenty years ago (possibly in Omni Magazine) in an article about space industries. The simple idea was of foaming molten metal with inert gas in zero gravity, which would allow for an even distribution of the bubbles (they wouldn’t float to the top), to produce a light and strong either closed or open cell metal. Great idea, and one I’ve used loads.
Now you’ve probably read about this already, but I feel it’s worth a mention here just to prove my aphorism that nothing dates faster than science fiction:
“The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometres, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair,” said lead author Dr. Tobias Schaedler.
The resulting nickel matter has a density of just 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimetre.