Carbon nanotubes help create reinforced graphene "rebar"

Rice University researchers have found that fracture-resistant “rebar graphene” is more than twice as tough as pristine graphene. While on the two-dimensional scale, graphene is stronger than steel, its extremely thin nature makes it subject to ripping and tearing. Rebar graphene is the nanoscale analog of rebar (reinforcement bars) in concrete, in which embedded steel bars enhance the material’s strength and durability. Rebar graphene, developed by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour in 2014, uses carbon nanotubes for reinforcement.

In a new study, Rice materials scientist Jun Lou, graduate student and lead author Emily Hacopian and collaborators, including Prof. James Tour, stress-tested rebar graphene and found that nanotube rebar diverted and bridged cracks that would otherwise propagate in unreinforced graphene.

IBS team uses camphor to measure the tensile strength of centimeter-scale monolayer graphene films

Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have measured the tensile strength of centimeter-scale monolayer graphene films, using camphor - a chemical that easily volatilizes at room temperature - as a temporary support layer. The mechanical properties of monolayer graphene pieces bigger than a few micrometers have never been tested, simply because moving such an ultrathin film to a standard testing apparatus has not been possible.

Camphor-assisted testing system image

In this study, camphor is used as a transient support, and what differentiates it from conventional methods is that it is sublimed away in air at room temperature naturally, or at higher temperatures for faster processing. Thanks to this method, ultrathin films with an area larger than 1 cm x 1 cm are transferred without damage, then the camphor layer disappears in the air without leaving traces. In this way, tensile measurements were made on centimeter-scale 300 nm-thick graphene oxide film specimens, almost ten times thinner than previously reported. It was also possible to work with a graphene oxide film that was only 35 nm thick, and suspend it over a 1 cm x 1 cm hole.

Haydale reports strong commercial progress in graphene-enhanced composites

Haydale logoHaydale, the global advanced materials group, has announced that strong commercial progress has been made with an unspecified global composite materials group to enhance mechanical properties for selected products in their range of materials, through a commercially funded contract.

Over the last 12 months, Haydale has completed a series of pre-production trials for this customer (who for commercial reasons cannot be named) to enhance these selected products' mechanical performance through the incorporation of graphene in a range of world-wide industrial applications. Haydale reports that to date, it has been paid approximately $150,000 USD by the Customer for these trials.

Spotlight: Seevix's dragline spidersilk promises elastic, strong and stable fibers

The graphene-enhanced composites market is on the rise with many applications popping up around the world. While graphene-enhanced composites are exciting and yield properties like a substantial mechanical strength and conductivity boost, other advanced materials are being developed worldwide to compete or complete graphene's attributes.

Seevix dragline spidersilk image

One such fascinating material is an artificial dragline spidersilk, developed by an Israel-based startup called Seevix Material Sciences. We contacted Dr. Shmulik Ittah, Co-Founder and CTO at Seevix Material Sciences, to give us a short review of the Company's promising material. Dragline spidersilk is known as an extremely strong fiber, that also manages to be highly elastic and stretchable. In fact, it can stretch up to 30% of its initial length. Spider silk is thus a unique phenomenon in the materials world, toting two such seemingly contradictory properties which usually do not co-reside in one material, whether natural or synthetic.

Directa Plus signs contract with existing client for graphene-enhanced accessories

Directa Plus logoDirecta Plus, a producer and supplier of graphene-based products, recently announced that it has reentered into a 12-month exclusivity agreement and 9-month development agreement with an existing global luxury accessories customer, to produce graphene-enhanced accessories with increased mechanical properties.

'The value of the exclusivity and the development agreement, ahead of entering into an anticipated commercial contract, amounts to approximately €130,000,' the firm said.

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!