Scientists use plastic to make 18-karat gold ultralight in appearance

- Jan 16, 2020-

Scientists have created a "very light" 18-karat nugget of gold made from a completely unimaginable material: plastic.

This gold has all the luster of regular gold, but is much lighter.



While traditional gold has a density of about 15 grams per cubic centimeter, researchers at the federal institute of technology in Zurich have created a density of just 1.7 grams per cubic centimeter.


What is K gold?

Gold is an alloy of gold and other metals fused together.

K gold represents the purity of gold, 18k gold is gold accounted for 75%, the other 25% for nickel, silver and other precious metals.

Gold is popular because it is cheap and comfortable to wear.


But this new kind of gold is made entirely differently.

To make the new material, the researchers used protein fibers and a polymer latex to form a matrix in which gold nanocrystals were embedded.


"This gold has the properties of a plastic material.

If it falls on a hard surface, it sounds like plastic.

But it shines like gold, and it can be polished and machined into any shape you want."

The researchers believe their plastic gold could be used for watches, jewelry and electronics, as well as radiation shielding.



Before plastic gold was invented, the team created gold that was almost as light as air.

However, the researchers said: "the previous material was so unstable that we set ourselves a clear goal of creating a lightweight form of gold.

It can actually be processed and used in most applications that use gold today."