Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms in a honeycomb crystal lattice (hexagons), and is the building-block of Graphite. Graphene is exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as it's strong and thin and possesses very interesting properties. Graphene has a lot of possible applications in the fields of electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more.
There are dozens of small companies that are already producing graphene (and graphene-based materials). While production volume is small and prices are still high, we already begin to see some commercial applications that use these materials. Hopefully in coming years production volume will increase and prices will drop which will enable more and more products to use graphene based materials.
Commercial products that use graphene
As we said, while graphene is a relatively new material, applications are starting to appear. The first product to use graphene, as far as we know, is the Siren Technology security smart packaging, which uses Vorbeck Materials's graphene based Ink.
Some companies have announced some graphene based products, we're not sure if these are real yet. Shanghai's Powerbooster Technology claim to have developed a graphene-based flexible touch-panels for mobile devices. They say they are already producing millions of such panels a month, shipping them to mid-sized Chinese smartphone makers. This isn't confirmed yet though.
In the beginning of 2013, HEAD announced their new range of graphene tennis rackets (YouTek Graphene Speed series). These rackets supposedly use graphene to make the shaft stronger and lighter, and HEAD says that the graphene helps distribute the weight better and creates a stronger and better controlled racket. HEAD offers five different rackets, ranging from $170 to $286. It's still not clear what's the material HEAD are using exactly in this product, but it's likely that they are using AGM's graphene flakes.
In 2014, HEAD launched a line of graphene-enhanced skis for women, called Joy, which are meant to be lightweight and durable. The line includes several models, and is currently about 20% more expensive than traditional skis.
In October 2013, a new company called Thermene launched the Graphene-Oxide based Thermene Graphene Thermal Paste which is aimed towards CPU cooling. For $15 you can buy 3 ml of Thermene which should be enough for about a dozen CPUs. We were told that the graphene supplier is Graphene Supermarket. Specifically they are using graphene oxide flakes (or platelets) which is at least 80% one layer graphene.
In October 2014, Vittoria released a new range of bicycle race wheels that are built from graphene-enhanced composite materials. The new wheels (called Qurano) are the best wheels offered by Vittoria, and they say these are the fastest wheels in the world - all thanks to graphene. Vittoria uses graphene materials produced by Italy's Directa Plus, added to their carbon-fiber matrix built wheel rim.
In 2014, A Spanish company called Catlike launched a line of cycling helmets called Mixino 2014, enhanced with graphene. These helmets are said to be light and strong, and offer major improvements in the field of safety and impact absorption.
Catlike also launched a line of graphene-enhanced cycling shoes to hit the market around Christmas 2014-2015. The line is called whisper and combines different kinds of cycling shoes (for road, mountain and triathlon biking). The shoes are supposed to provide superior performance by being light and durable.
We expect the first graphene-based mass-market products to be touch displays and Li-Ion batteries.