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Thread: Silicon as a building material?

  1. #1 Silicon as a building material? 
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    In the circuitous haze of my mind
    Apparently monocrystaline Silicon has an ultimate tensile strength of 7000 MPa, which is higher than any steel I know of or carbon fiber. Would this make it a viable candidate for small highly stressed mechanical/structural parts, or things like body armor? Graphene is apparently 130,000 MPa, which makes you wonder at first why they aren't using that to make race cars and spaceships, but supposedly it only achieves that rating when the structure of the molecules is absolutely perfect with no flaws...which we have yet to achieve reliably on a large scale. Could this also be the case with Silicon? Wikipedia specifically states "monocrystaline", which I believe is the form that the semi-conductor industry uses to make IC's and computer chips. I am assuming that not all Silicon that you could buy is monocrystaline, and that it takes a special process to get it into this form. Perhaps then, some of those surplus circuit boards printed on Silicon that you see on Ebay are monocrystaline and would exhibit 7000 MPa tensile strength?

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