Carbon-Based Graphene: The Future of Automobile Construction
Imagine a material 100 times stronger than steel. It can conduct electricity better than anything in use today, is an excellent thermal conductor too, and has a multitude of uses: solar panels, biotechnology, batteries that charge in seconds, touchscreens, water filtration, tissue regeneration, electronic components, and in-air hydrogen particle isolation.
Now, imagine it’s seven times lighter than air.
You don’t have to imagine any longer, because researchers have discovered this material of the future: carbon-based graphene.
Carbon is already one of the smallest and lightest elements, and in the form of graphene, it’s one of the strongest materials ever.
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How Carbon-Based Graphene Can Revolutionize…Everything
Graphene, a two-dimensional “crystallin allotrope” of carbon, arranges carbon atoms in a single dense layer of hexagonal patterns. The final result, graphene paper, has a lower density than steel but is two times harder and ten times more durable in keeping its form. One square meter weighs less than one milligram. According to engineers, “It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap,” yet a block of it can sit on top of a flower without bending it.
You can already imagine the vast potential graphene has. Apart from the uses already mentioned, Digital Trends has already brainstormed more possibilities for the material, including “a coating for impermeable driver modules, armor plating for military vehicles, and even high-impact suspension components for off-roaders.” Revolutionary lithium-sulfur batteries could also be produced which increase electric vehicle range exponentially.
Graphene could replace most materials currently used in vehicle construction, but more than that, it seems like the perfect material for building an actual flying car!
Carbon-based graphene was discovered in 2003 and was thoroughly studied by Columbia University six years ago. Being relatively new, no commercialized mass production method has been developed, though some Irish scientists have claimed to have discovered one.
Current carbon fiber usage in the auto industry has proven a success, and graphene would take that success fifty steps further.
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Source: Digital Trends
- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.