Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Strongest Material
Name: Anne
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: PA
Country: USA
Date: N/A

What is the strongest material in the world?

The answer depends a bit upon what you mean be "strongest". In the usual sense of the term "strongest" is taken to mean "hardest", in which case, diamond is the strongest of natural occurring materials.

Vince Calder

Hi Anne,

The word "Strongest" needs qualifying. If what you mean is strongest in compression, then even ordinary concrete is high on the list. I suspect, however, that you are wondering what is the strongest material when subjected to tension. In that case, carbon nanotubes are probably the strongest materials yet discovered. Although not a practical material for everyday use (yet), this material has been tested to be at least 50 times stronger in tension than steel. Carbon nanotubes are long tubular shaped molecules of carbon, far, far smaller in diameter than a human hair, yet can be as long as several millimeters in length. A concise explanation is available here:


Bob Wilson.

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory