3 non-developed countries you never thought to have stronger military power than developed ones

1. Ethiopia: Ethioipia is currently ranked 41 (of 133 countries) according to the GFP review.

Air Power – Includes both fixed-wing and rotary-wing (helicopter) aircraft from all branches of service (Air Force, Navy, Army). Air power is just one important component of the modern military force. Attack Aircraft represents fixed-wing and dedicated forms as well as light strike types (some basic and advanced trainers fill this role). Some fighters can double as attack types and vice versa – this is how multi-role aircraft can be of considerable value. Transport and Trainer aircraft include both fixed-wing and rotary-wing types. z
Image result for ethiopia military

Army Strength – Tank value includes Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and light tanks (a few remain in service) as well as those vehicles considered “tank destroyers”. There is no distinction made between all-wheel and track-and-wheel designs. Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) value includes Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) as well as Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

Navy Strength – Aircraft Carrier value includes both traditional aircraft carriers as well as “helicopter carrier” warships (the latter growing in popularity worldwide). Cruisers are no longer tracked due to their declining value on the world stage. Submarines value includes both diesel-electric and nuclear-powered types. Total Naval Assets is not simply a sum of the presented navy ship categories – instead it includes all showcased types along with any known / recognized auxiliary vessels (not tracked individually by this site).

The military power of Ethiopia is still stronger than developed countries like Chile, Philippines, Finland.

2. Nigeria: Nigeria is currently ranked 43 (of 133 countries) according to the GFP review.
Image result for nigeria military

Air Power – Includes both fixed-wing and rotary-wing (helicopter) aircraft from all branches of service (Air Force, Navy, Army). Air power is just one important component of the modern military force. Attack Aircraft represents fixed-wing and dedicated forms as well as light strike types (some basic and advanced trainers fill this role). Some fighters can double as attack types and vice versa – this is how multi-role aircraft can be of considerable value. Transport and Trainer aircraft include both fixed-wing and rotary-wing types.

Army Strength – Tank value includes Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and light tanks (a few remain in service) as well as those vehicles considered “tank destroyers”. There is no distinction made between all-wheel and track-and-wheel designs. Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) value includes Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) as well as Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

Navy Strength – Aircraft Carrier value includes both traditional aircraft carriers as well as “helicopter carrier” warships (the latter growing in popularity worldwide). Cruisers are no longer tracked due to their declining value on the world stage. Submarines value includes both diesel-electric and nuclear-powered types. Total Naval Assets is not simply a sum of the presented navy ship categories – instead it includes all showcased types along with any known / recognized auxiliary vessels (not tracked individually by this site).
The military power of Nigeria is still stronger than developed countries like South Africa, UAE, Finland, Austria.

3. Bangladesh: Bangladesh is currentyly ranked 57 (of 133 countries) according to the GFP review.
Image result for bangladesh military

Air Power – Includes both fixed-wing and rotary-wing (helicopter) aircraft from all branches of service (Air Force, Navy, Army). Air power is just one important component of the modern military force. Attack Aircraft represents fixed-wing and dedicated forms as well as light strike types (some basic and advanced trainers fill this role). Some fighters can double as attack types and vice versa – this is how multi-role aircraft can be of considerable value. Transport and Trainer aircraft include both fixed-wing and rotary-wing types. EXTERNAL LINK: Aircraft throughout the military history of Bangladesh.

Army Strength – Tank value includes Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and light tanks (a few remain in service) as well as those vehicles considered “tank destroyers”. There is no distinction made between all-wheel and track-and-wheel designs. Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) value includes Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) as well as Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

Navy Strength – Aircraft Carrier value includes both traditional aircraft carriers as well as “helicopter carrier” warships (the latter growing in popularity worldwide). Cruisers are no longer tracked due to their declining value on the world stage. Submarines value includes both diesel-electric and nuclear-powered types. Total Naval Assets is not simply a sum of the presented navy ship categories – instead it includes all showcased types along with any known / recognized auxiliary vessels (not tracked individually by this site).

The military power of Bangladesh is still stronger than developed countries like Portugal, Belgium, New Zealand.

7 Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Career

Family is an integral part of each person’s life, but we pay too much attention to our jobs so we can consider career to be an integral part of life as well. They say, only selfish people worry about career, but in fact, many of us are trying to make a career as we need money to live a more fulfilling life. It’s not all about money, though. When you hate your job, you are not happy for that paycheck. Even if you love what you do, sometimes it seems impossible to get a promotion or a raise. Why? Here’s how you are sabotaging your career:

1. Perfectionism

Striving for perfection is one of the worst habits that can ruin your whole life. No matter how hard you work, you will never do your job perfectly. There’s always a room for mistakes. Perfectionists are ready to die rather than make a mistake, and it’s actually a surefire way to make your life more fearful, stressful and miserable. Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes – those mistakes make you wiser, smarter and stronger. Moreover, stop setting the high standards and striving to be perfect. This way, you will boost your career and improve your love life as well.

2. Stop learning

You graduated from the university and you’re probably sick and tired of reading and studying, but a successful life is all about improving your knowledge and develop yourself. Don’t expect your boss to promote your professional development. It may be their obligation, but bosses are different so your employer may not even think about you, especially if you work for a big company. Consider improving your professional skills on a daily basis – the more you read, the better. You can also take some free courses or visit a few seminars.

3. Weak willpower

No one is able to reach career goals if they are not assertive and have no willpower. If your boss gives you a difficult project, it doesn’t mean they hate you. This means they believe in you and your skills and they know you will do your job well. If you can’t accomplish the task, let your boss know. Although they’ll probably won’t be happy to hear that, they’ll understand you and your situation. If you are afraid to fail the project, though, saying ‘no’ to your boss is a bad idea.

4. Working too much

Yup, ladies, working too much is not always good. Not only will you have a number of serious issues in a few years, you will also break your productivity, fail at time management and ruin your career. Hard-working people often sabotage their careers without realizing it, thus they end up feeling miserable and lonely. Work hard but don’t overwork – this is the main rule to keep in mind when you want to get promoted.

5. Saying ‘yes’

Your coworker has an urgent family problem to solve and asks you to accomplish some tasks. You have your own to-do list full of important tasks but you can’t say ‘no’ so you say ‘yes’ and end up working all night long doing the job for two. What’s the point? Well, I know, the art of being selfish is hard to master, but it will help you achieve your career goals without sacrificing your time and health.

6. The wrong career path

It’s hard to know if your career path is right or wrong, especially now when people are so obsessed with money that they are ready to do whatever job needed to be done in order to make more cash. True happiness doesn’t lie in money. If you make a lot of money by doing the job you hate, your chances of becoming happy are very low. If you feel like you chose the wrong career path, it’s not too late to change it.

7. Stressful life

Stress doesn’t sound like a big danger to us these days. Most hard-working people don’t know how to relax properly and they often have poor physical and mental health. As you know, money doesn’t buy health. Consider your lifestyle and think of all the possible ways to eliminate stress from your life. Learn how to cope with your emotions, negative feedback, toxic people and the most difficult life issues. Positivity can help you boost your career, while negativity can completely ruin it.

I learned the hard way about choosing the right career path and developing the right career habits. If you don’t find your job rewarding and meaningful, it’s better to leave it and find something you are passionate about. Hopefully, these little signs and tips helped you to think over your career path and your career goals, and now you know what you want to do. Are you sabotaging your career? How?

9 Reasons to Load Your Fruit Salad with Oranges

You know oranges are jam-packed with nutrients: high in vitamin C, fiber, folate and antioxidants, and low in calories and sugar. But do you know about the health benefits oranges offer apart from immune-boosting properties? They are awesomely surprising. Whether you love oranges or you eat them once in a while, the following reasons will make you load your summer fruit salads with oranges on a daily basis.

1. Keep your kidneys healthy

Help your kidneys function properly by including at least one orange in your daily meal plan. If you love orange juice, it is better. Orange juice is a good source of a natural form of citrate that slows down kidney stone formation and can help to reduce your risk for kidney disease.

2. Turn back the hands of time

Oranges boast powerful anti-aging properties thanks to their high antioxidant content. Vitamin C protects the skin against damage from UVA and UVB rays, stimulates collagen production, prevents pigmentation and inflammatory skin conditions.

3. Make your heart stronger

Here is why: oranges are rich in potassium, an essential mineral for heart health. Low potassium level may lead to abnormal heart rhythms, especially if you suffer from heart disease. Since potassium deficiency is a common problem these days, it it critical to consume foods high in potassium. Orange is one of them.

4. Banish viral infections

Consuming foods that are rich in polyphenols can help you strengthen your immune system, which in turn will help protect you from viral infections. Oranges are plentiful in polyphenols known for their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-proliferative properties.

5. Increase your fiber intake

Fiber plays an important role in keeping high cholesterol levels at bay, lowering your risk for atherosclerosis. Fiber can also help manage type 2 diabetes since it keeps blood sugar levels under control. Oranges are high in fiber so eating them regularly will help you increase your fiber intake and improve your overall health

6. Improve your eye health

Our eyes suffer more than ever. We keep them busy most of the time so we have to protect them. Wearing glasses is not the only solution. Foods that are rich in vitamin A do the better work. Not only they do protect your vision, but they can also help prevent macular degeneration. Oranges are not the best source of vitamin A, but one cup contains 8% of the daily recommended intake.

7. Fight free radical damage

Free radicals attack the body’s cells and can cause serious damage in the body, including heart disease and cancer. Oranges are packed with vitamin C that protects the body’s cells by neutralizing free radicals.

8. Boost brain power

Vitamin B9 found in oranges promotes healthy brain development and boosts brain power. This is a reason why pregnant women should include oranges in their eating plan (in moderation, of course), as they help prevent the baby from developing neurological disorders.

9. Relieve constipation

As I mentioned above, oranges are rich in fiber – both soluble and insoluble – that is essential for your digestive health and regular bowel movements. Eating an orange a day can help you avoid irritable bowel syndrome, including constipation. A glass of fresh orange juice can help with constipation too.

If you are not eating oranges and not drinking fresh orange juice at least once a week, why not start today? They boast many other health benefits that you can reap. Add oranges to your salads or oatmeal, use in your smoothies or drink juice. But, do not forget about moderation, especially if you suffer from any type of disease.

9 Crazy Good Healing Benefits of Celery Juice

I have written about the benefits of celery before. It is an incredibly overlooked superfood, however, not everyone really likes it. It has such powerful healing benefits for your body though. If you are not keen on crunching away on a stick after stick of celery, you should try drinking it in the form of juice.

By juicing it, you can easily mask the taste and gain all the wonderful healing properties that it will give to you. And by juicing it, you can get more of it at once. Here is what celery juice can do for you.

If you have an inflammatory disease like arthritis, celery juice can help reduce inflammation in your body. That is because it has luteolin, which has demonstrated powerful capabilities to inhibit enzymes in your body that cause your genes to ignite with an inflammatory response.

It also has polyacetylenes, which are wondrous for arthritis sufferers. If you have any inflammatory disease, try adding celery juice to your diet every day and see how you feel after a week or two. Most people report a vast improvement.

Phthalide is also found in celery juice and has been shown to relax your muscles inside your blood vessels. That means if you have high blood pressure, you can benefit from the healing powers of celery juice.

Drinking it will allow your blood to pass through more efficiently and keep your heart healthy. Additionally, coumarins are plentiful in fresh celery juice and they hinder the effects of cortisol on your body.

Cortisol constricts your blood vessels. So the more celery juice you drink, your heart and cardiovascular system will love you back.

Flavonols, furanocoumarins, and phenolic acids are bountiful in celery juice. These anti-cancer compounds have been shown in studies to stop the spread of cancer. It is good for blocking carcinogens from your body. In other words, if you worry about developing cancer, start juicing celery. You could prevent cancer down the road if you take care of yourself now.

Because celery is alkalizing as well as hydrating, it is a wonderful way to cleanse your body. If you drank too much this weekend or perhaps ate too many sweets, refresh your body with celery juice. And if you are prone to kidney stones, drink up! Celery juice is a powerful diuretic that can flush toxins out with complete precision.

Maybe you will not want to toss your expensive facial creams, but drinking celery juice helps you look even younger. It is filled with antioxidants, plus it is high in vitamin K, something that many people do not get enough of.

Vitamin K is amazing for keeping skin firm and replenishing elasticity. Celery juice also contains plenty of vitamins A, B, and C which all work together to give you healthy-looking and ravishing skin.

Did you drink enough water today? Is it especially hot outside? Or perhaps you have done an intensive workout? Whatever the reason, if your body is dehydrated, celery juice can replenish it.

It is high in natural sodium levels, something your body needs, plus it has potassium electrolytes which keep your cells functioning properly.

Because it is so good at lowering high blood pressure and stress levels. Moreover, it is replenishing for electrolytes, celery juice is often suggested by experts as a way to relax and fall asleep naturally with ease.

It has magnesium, a mineral known for calming effects. Not only that, most people do not get enough magnesium which can cause big problems, including insomnia so juice some before bed and wake up feeling better in the morning.

Within the fibers of celery, there are special nutrients that only come alive when it is juiced. They help the digestive tract function optimally by serving as a natural form of laxative. Celery juice relaxes your nerves that have been harmed by your unhealthy choices.

It soothes and cools, using those anti-inflammatory properties to help you feel better. Plus, if you start your day with celery juice, the enzymes you consume from the celery juice help increase the hydrochloric acid in your stomach so your food digests more easily.

Try drinking it every morning and you will see a huge transformation in the way your digestive system responds after a week.

Celery contains high levels of calcium as well as silicon. Together, they strengthen bones and can even help regenerate damaged bones. I mentioned vitamin K before which you should also note is excellent for protecting against osteoporosis.

In order for the calcium in celery to be most beneficial, consuming it raw and organically is best, so juicing it gives you the necessary atoms to help build your bones. Keeping your skeletal system strong is so important because it is the system that supports all your other systems.

Did you learn something new about celery? Maybe it is time to give it another try. That is why juicing makes obtaining the nutrients from celery so much more accessible. You get all the benefits of the raw celery, and then some because by juicing it, you get access to the nutrients it contains in the fibers that can’t be brought out any other way.

Cooking celery adds good flavor to soups and stews, and it will add nutrients too, however it is in a juiced form that celery stands to be most beneficial to your body.

Try juicing it in the morning to cleanse and keep your body running optimally all day. Then have some at night before bed to help you rest. You will begin to notice positive changes in the way that you feel after a week.

Take the celery juicing challenge and heal your body naturally today. Have you tried celery juice? What did you think?

Bipolar & Marriage: How to Grow Stronger as a Couple

When a mental illness suddenly appears in a relationship, it can shake the foundation of a marriage. While dealing with the erratic behavior of a spouse in mania or depression is difficult, through counseling, love and acceptance of the illness, partners can grow even stronger as a couple.

Mood changes

It’s stressful for a spouse to deal with the confusion of ever-changing moods from his bipolar partner. It helps for this spouse to view his continued support of his partner as an investment in something worthwhile.

Confusion and chaos

When symptoms of bipolar first begin to surface, most spouses aren’t sure what to think—they’re confused. Amid the chaos of behaviors they fear they’ll never see the person they’d fallen in love with.

When sympathy isn’t enough

When a spouse is first diagnosed, the initial response from the partner is usually sympathy, until down the road they could feel anger, frustration and even hate, says sociology professor and author David A. Karp, Ph.D. “Indeed, caring for someone who has a mental illness can be more draining than caring for someone with cancer.” In that case the spouse is usually met with gratitude and not anger if the partner is denying the diagnosis and treating her like the enemy.

Reaching acceptance

If a spouse can move through these times, he or she will reach a place of acceptance, says Karp. “Those difficult emotions will then be replaced with softer feelings of love and compassion.” By accepting that life looks different than originally one imagined doesn’t mean you can’t still have a good life.

Redefining spousal expectations

Transformation means redrawing the picture of what a couple once thought life would look like. For some, that may mean having to rely on only one income, going without certain luxuries or even choosing not to start a family. For others, it may mean that many of the responsibilities of daily life fall on the well partner.

Sharing responsibility

Couples who seem to have the most success share the belief that the partner with bipolar shares an equal responsibility within the relationship. If bipolar is biological then the mate does have some control over his behavior and should shoulder some responsibility to help themselves, unless they are extremely manic or depressed are temporarily unable to.

Self-sufficiency during periods of wellness

In cases where one partner has bipolar and the marriage ends, it’s usually because the healthy spouse feels he or she has done everything they can to help the other person become well, but nothing has made the situation better. During periods of wellness, the partner owes it to their spouse to work diligently to stay well.

Preparing ahead

In periods of wellness, successful couples will prepare for episodes that may lie ahead. That may mean realigning chequing accounts or giving power of attorney as a means of limiting control to the ill spouse during manic episodes. Some couples will have a list of symptoms the bipolar spouse exhibits when on the brink of a manic or depressive episode and agree at what point to seek help, thus removing the emotions from such a decision.

Carrying the burden

Following a diagnosis many spouses are left with most of the responsibilities of their life together—from caring for the children to working to pay the bills to caring for their ill partner. It’s a heavy burden for many.

Drawing boundary lines

Many spouses struggle with how to help the person they love without becoming engulfed in the spouse’s misery or mania. They may even feel their own identifies are being buried—they are losing themselves or jeopardizing their own health. Spouses must learn to draw a boundary line, or risk losing themselves, Dr. Karp says.

Mutual wellness

Many couples attribute their successful marriages to a commitment to mutual and personal wellness. This could mean daily exercise, eating well, good sleep habits and focusing on the wonderful things shared by both. Both partners need to decide to want their relationships to work and they will start looking for ways to make it work.

Moving forward

Dr. David A. Karp argues that sometimes the well spouse has to withdraw. It may sound harsh, but it’s health. He says spouses must learn to take care of themselves before they can take care of others. It’s important for the well spouse to fulfill her own goals, and continue to move forward, even when her partner is struggling.

7 Life Moments That Make Your Relationship Stronger

Have you ever thought about what makes lovers a real couple and improves the quality of their relationship? Not long ago, I analyzed my relationship and came to a conclusion that the strength of love did not depend on the duration of the relationship.

The relationship between a man and a woman becomes stronger when the couple experiences life important moments and discovers that they have similar interests. These moments and common challenges help both partners realize that they are meant to be together and they have everything to be happy. Read on to understand what I mean.

1. Talks before asleep

You might not realize, but talking with your partner before falling asleep is an incredibly important and one of the most intimate moments in a relationship. Heart-to-heart conversations strengthen emotional connection between lovers and give them an opportunity to share their impressions, feelings and emotions experienced during the day.

Furthermore, late night is a perfect time for dreaming and planning your future together. If you do not live under the same roof, then you can talk to each other using modern electronic technologies.

2. When you get acquainted with your partner’s family

One of the most sacred moments in a relationship is meeting parents. This action automatically proves that the level of trust in your relationship is high and your partner’s intentions are pure and sincere.

The acquaintance with my partner’s family opened my eyes to many new things and helped me look at my significant other from a different point of view. After the meeting I understood that my partner has loved me with all his heart and soul.

3. The birth of a child

This moment is more meaningful and intimate than the previous one. The birth of a child takes a relationship to a new level. It fills the life of lovers with the meaning, new feelings, emotions and responsibilities.

People sometimes say that the birth of a child can also destabilize the situation and shatter the harmony between partners, but I think that this happens only if their love is artificially sweet like a candy. The birth of my child changed my outlook and it seems to me that our family union has became stronger.

More: 9 Important Things to Remember to Save Your Relationship

4. When your realize that doing nothing together is a wonderful thing

The realization of that fact is not a sign of ageing or depression. It means that partners find spending time together at home comfortable and interesting. While it is great to lead an active lifestyle and fill your relationship with colors, adventures and breathtaking moments, sometimes it is normal to slow down for a while.

Many couples cannot imagine a happy relationship without flowers, surprises, parties and thrilling moments. Sooner or later, they become disillusioned with their relationships, because life is not a bed of roses. Partners become a real couple when they understand that everything they need for happiness is their significant other.

5. When you overcome insurmountable barriers together

One of the most challenging things in life is building a long-lasting and healthy relationship. All couples go through fights, misunderstandings, difficult situations and resentment. Reality check and sufferings are crucially important, because they test the strength of people’s relationships.

The couples, who have gone through dark times together, respect and love each other more than those who solved their common problems with help of separation or breakup. If you and your partner face insurmountable barrier one day, you should do your best to overcome it together. Your efforts will only strengthen the relationship, because problems unite people.

6. When your realize that you want your partner only

During the first stages of a relationship, the bond between partners is often not strong enough and many of them find it difficult to resist the temptation of having sex outside the relationship.

Over time, partners get used to each other either emotionally or physically. If they are satisfied with their sexual life, they usually have no desire to cheat or play a double game. As soon as you realize that you are sexually satisfied and your partner is your number one, then you will be ready for the next important life step – marriage.

More: 5 Things My Boyfriend Taught Me about a Relationship

7. When you take a side of your partner regardless of everything

When both of you are ready to move the mountains, stick to the partner’s guns and take up the cudgels for them, even if something goes wrong, your love is real. You love your significant other and subconsciously understand that he or she is an essential part of your life.

Strong and pure love is the thing that sometimes makes people blind to justice, honesty and decency. The main thing is not to cross the line. If you have taken your partner’s side many times, but you think that they were wrong, then give them a helping hand, but explain that doing veil things is a bad idea.

I hope many of these moments have already taken place in your life and strengthened your love. What other moments help us realize that we are a lovely couple?

Chaos Makes Carbon Materials Lighter And Stronger

In the quest for more efficient vehicles, engineers are using harder and lower-density carbon materials, such as carbon fibers, which can be manufactured sustainably by “baking” naturally occurring soft hydrocarbons in the absence of oxygen. However, the optimal “baking” temperature for these hardened, charcoal-like carbon materials remained a mystery since the 1950s when British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who is perhaps better known for providing critical evidence of DNA’s double helix structure, discovered how the carbon atoms in sugar, coal, and similar hydrocarbons, react to temperatures approaching 3,000 degrees Celsius (5,432 degrees Fahrenheit) in oxygen-free processing. Confusion over whether disorder makes these graphite-like materials stronger, or weaker, prevented identifying the ideal “baking” temperature for more than 40 years.

Fewer, more chaotically arranged carbon atoms produce higher-strength materials, MIT researchers report in the journal Carbon. They find a tangible link between the random ordering of carbon atoms within a phenol-formaldehyde resin, which was “baked” at high temperatures, and the strength and density of the resulting graphite-like carbon material. Phenol-formaldehyde resin is a hydrocarbon commonly known as “SU-8” in the electronics industry. Additionally, by comparing the performance of the “baked” carbon material, the MIT researchers identified a “sweet spot” manufacturing temperature: 1,000 C (1,832 F).

“These materials we’re working with, which are commonly found in SU-8 and other hydrocarbons that can be hardened using ultraviolet [UV] light, are really promising for making strong and light lattices of beams and struts on the nanoscale, which only recently became possible due to advances in 3-D printing,” says MIT postdoc Itai Stein SM ’13, PhD ’16. “But up to now, nobody really knew what happens when you’re changing the manufacturing temperature, that is, how the structure affects the properties. There was a lot of work on structure and a lot of work on properties, but there was no connection between the two. … We hope that our study will help to shed some light on the governing physical mechanisms that are at play.”

Stein, who is the lead author of the paper published in Carbon, led a team under professor of aeronautics and astronautics Brian L. Wardle, consisting of MIT junior Chlöe V. Sackier, alumni Mackenzie E. Devoe ’15 and Hanna M. Vincent ’14, and undergraduate Summer Scholars Alexander J. Constable and Naomi Morales-Medina.

“Our investigations into this carbon material as a matrix for nanocomposites kept leading to more questions making this topic increasingly interesting in and of itself. Through a series of contributions, notably from MIT undergraduate researchers and Summer Scholars, a sustained investigation of several years resulted, allowing some paradoxical results in the extant literature to be resolved,” Wardle says.

By “baking” the resin at high temperature in inert gas, a process commonly known as pyrolysis, the researchers formed a type of disordered graphite-like carbon material that is often called glassy carbon. Stein and Wardle showed that when it is processed at temperatures higher than 1,000 C, the material becomes more ordered but weaker. They estimated the strength of their glassy carbon by applying a local force and measuring their material’s ability to resist deformation. This type of measurement, which is known to engineers as the Vickers hardness test, is a highly versatile technique that can be used to study a wide variety of materials, such as metals, glasses, and plastics, and enabled the researchers to compare their findings to many well-known engineering materials that include diamond, carbon fiber composites, and metal carbides.

The carbon atoms within the MIT researchers’ material were more chaotically organized than is typical for graphite, and this was because phenol-formaldehyde with which they started is a complicated mix of carbon-rich compounds. “Because the hydrocarbon was disordered to begin with, a lot of the disorder remains in your crystallites, at least at this temperature,” Stein explains. In fact, the presence of more complex carbon compounds in the material strengthens it by leading to three-dimensional connections that are hard to break. “Basically you get pinned at the crystallite interface, and that leads to enhanced performance,” he says.

These high-temperature baked materials have only one carbon atom in their structure for every three in a diamond structure. “When you’re using these materials to make nanolattices, you can make the overall lattice even less dense. Future studies should be able to show how to make lighter and cheaper materials,” Stein suggests. Hydrocarbons similar to the phenol-formaldehyde studied here can also be sourced in an environmentally friendly way, he says.

“Up until now there wasn’t really consensus about whether having a low density was good or bad, and we’re showing in this work, that having a low density is actually good,” Stein says. That’s because low density in these crystallites means more molecular connections in three dimensions, which helps the material resist shearing, or sliding apart. Because of its low density, this material compares favorably to diamond and boron nitrides for aerospace uses. “Essentially, you can use a lot more of this material and still end up saving weight overall,” Stein says.

“This study represents sound materials science — connecting all three facets of synthesis, structure, and property — toward elucidating poorly understood scaling laws for mechanical performance of pyrolytic carbon,” says Eric Meshot, a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who was not involved in this research. “It is remarkable that by employing routinely available characterization tools, the researchers pieced together both the molecular and nanoscale structural pictures and deciphered this counterintuitive result that more graphitization does not necessarily equal a harder material. It is an intriguing concept in and of itself that a little structural disorder can enhance the hardness.”

“Their structural characterization proves how and why they achieve high hardness at relatively low synthesis temperatures,” Meshot adds. “This could be impactful for industries seeking to scale up production of these types of materials since heating is a seriously costly step.” The study also points to new directions for making low-density composite structures with truly transformative properties, he suggests. “For example, by incorporating the starting SU-8 resin in, on, or around other structures (such as nanotubes as the authors suggest), can we synthesize materials that are even harder or more resistant to sheer? Or composites that possibly embed additional functionality, such as sensing?” Meshot asks.

The new research has particular relevance now because a group of German researchers showed last year in a Nature Materials paper how these materials can form highly structured nanolattices that are strong, lightweight, and are outperformed only by diamond. Those researchers processed their material at 900 C, Stein notes. “You can do a lot more optimization, knowing what the scaling is of the mechanical properties with the structure, then you can go ahead and tune the structure accordingly, and that’s where we believe there is broad implication for our work in this study,” he says.

This work was partly supported by MIT’s Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace STructures (NECST) Consortium members Airbus Group, Boeing, Embraer, Lockheed Martin, Saab AB, ANSYS, Hexcel, and TohoTenax. Stein was supported, in part, by a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.