Super Material Graphene

Graphene aka the super material could be the next game changer! Prof Andre Geim and Prof Kostya Novoselov of the University of Manchester first discovered the graphene crystals derived from graphite in 2004 using pencil graphite and scotch tape! Since the discovery in 2004 using the very simple method of scotch tape and pencils this area of material science has seen an explosion of research! Why do people want to research this material? Because its the first known 2 dimensional material, its the thinnest object ever found, its the worlds hardest material (push over diamonds!) making it approx 300 times stronger than steel and is also the lightest material known. Not only that, graphene also conducts electricity better than copper, its transparent, its bendable and can be manipulated into any form you want!  This material is also the mother to a new class of crystals that are also just 1 atom thick which can be engineered to make even more amazing materials!

 

So what does all this mean…it means that we are going to see a wave of amazing new transformations across almost every industry! As graphene is thin, light, strong, bendable and conductive it means that it is possible to have touch screen bendable devices! We maybe seeing devices like this in the shops in 5 years!

 

Graphene could be immensely useful for the creative industries, I can imagine all of the amazing projects, products and services being created and made possible through the unique properties of this material.

 

As graphene is so strong and light; wall construction maybe overhauled entirely there maybe no need for the typical structure, cavity, insulation, plasterboard, plaster but a simple layer of graphene material that produces structural strength, heat, light and interaction through its conductivity! This would transform interior design as floors, walls and ceilings could possibly all be made from this astonishing material! Imagine the architectural applications with cladding systems made of super light weight material that can produce energy as well as creating dramatic visual surfaces!

 

Car designers would have a new wonderful light weight, energy producing material! The restrictions of composites maybe a thing of the past with graphene’s incredible strength to weight ratio! Imagine the customisable options of a car made of this material, would it be possible to choose a different colour of car every time you drove your car? I am no scientist but I don’t see why not! Could the car produce energy through its surfaces being made of graphene? Could the energy through the wheels be harvested more efficiently through graphene? Again I am no scientist but I don’t see why not!

 

Perhaps a new range of textile design could be generated using this material, perhaps super strong light weight materials.  Bullet proof vests may become bullet proof shirts and trousers – this would be immensely helpful for the armed forces, police and emergency services.  But what about leisure? Textile design using graphene in the construction of motorcycle protective clothing may see a massive shift from leather to composite materials which are lighter, stronger and offer more protection.  Protective helmets may become infinitely better and more reactive than the current helmets, the material being stronger and lighter will increase safety, comfort and may even highlight areas of impact and/or alert the emergency services of the location of the injured individual by means of the conductivity of graphene. WOW amazing!

 

Jewellery design, fashion, industrial design, car design, aerospace design, energy, transport, entertainment, communication EVERYTHING could possibly be changed by graphene. It sounds so futuristic that its unbelievable but its happening now!

 

What would you make if you could make anything with graphene? Comment below!

 

 

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