As a global force, the U.S. military is called upon to conduct missions that subject its platforms to extreme operational environments and structural loads.
The endurance and performance of future Department of Defense platforms may call for the availability of materials with structural properties that significantly surpass the limits of what is achievable with current technology. Material properties include strength, density and stiffness, among many others.
DARPA’s Materials with Controlled Microstructural Architecture (MCMA) program seeks the capability to develop materials with properties tailored to meet specific mission requirements. For instance, as demonstrated in this video, DARPA was able to construct a material so light that it can rest atop a bubble.
MCMA researchers are working toward the goal of developing a material that is as strong as steel, but as light as a plastic.
Video provided by DARPATV