New hybrid graphene-CNT fibers are at least 12 times stronger than Kevlar

Researchers from Korea's Hanyang University developed new hybrid graphene-CNT fiber that is at least 12 times stronger compared to a general Kevlar fibers used in current bulletproof jackets. The new fiber is also more flexible.

To produce the new fibers, the researchers started out by dispersing graphene in water, which were then dispersed in a polymer solution using wet spinning to obtain a fiber form. The polymer was later removed, which created pure graphene fibers, which were later mixed with carbon-nanotubes fibers.

The researchers report that those fibers are resistant to torsion and are durable and flexible enough to allow sewing. They can also be molded into a high-strength spring form. Possible application for this material can be in aerospace equipment, automobiles and if course defense equipment. The researchers hope to commercialize their new material with the assistance of Korea's Ministry of Science and Future Planning.

Graphene-based fibers have been researched for years - mostly made from graphene-oxide (GO), but it seems that this new research is very promising. In 2011, Researchers from China's Zhejiang University in Hangzhou demonstrated meter long GO fibers that are strong and flexible. In 2013, researchers from Rice University developed a new strong fiber material, made from large GO flakes that has a "100% knot efficiency".

In 2014, researchers from Australia and Ireland developed a flexible yarn made from graphene oxide. This strong, lightweight, highly conductive and high capacitance fiber may be a great material for wearable textiles.

In June 2014 researchers from Penn State University and Japan's Shinshu University developed a simple and scalable process to make strong, stretchable graphene oxide fibers. Those fibers can easily be scrolled into yarns that have strengths approaching that of Kevlar and the researchers claimed these are the strongest carbon fibers ever developed. This new graphene-CNT hybrid is a lot stronger.

Posted: Sep 25,2014 by Ron Mertens