Steel Makes Way for Graphene Paper
>By Christopher Weaver
Planes, cars, trucks, and buildings have one major component in common, steel. They may soon have a replacement material in common known as graphene paper. Graphene paper (GP) is a material that can be processed, reshaped, and reformed from its original raw material state – graphite. The graphite is filtered and purified using a chemical process and then formed into thin sheets. These sheets have proved to be 6 times lighter, two times harder, and 10 times the tensile strength of a similar sheet of steel. This is most amazing because the graphene paper is produced in sheets that are a single atomic layer thick. Among all of its wonderful traits it is also very recyclable and ecologically friendly. A UTS research team supervised by Professor Guoxiu Wang is to thank for this amazing achievement and a full report can be found at the Journal of Applied Physics.
This new technology will have immense impact on fuel consumption, mining, and overall engineering design in the coming years. Cars may be able to double their current fuel economy simply by changing construction materials. Bridge designs, airplanes, space shuttles, and military weaponry/hardware could change drastically. This is one you definitely want to keep your eyes open for. Graphene paper may change the world as we know it.