Research behind the world's lightest graphene watch revealed

In January 2017 the world's lightest mechanical chronograph watch was unveiled in Geneva, Switzerland, made with an innovative graphene-enhanced composite material. Now, the research behind the project has been published. The unique watch was a result of a collaboration between the University of Manchester, Richard Mille Watches and McLaren Applied Technologies.

The RM 50-03 watch was made using a unique composite incorporating graphene to create a strong but lightweight case that contains the watch mechanism, which weighed around 40 grams in total, including the strap. The collaboration explored the methods of correctly aligning graphene within a composite to make the most of the material's superlative properties of mechanical stiffness and strength whilst negating the need for the addition of other, weightier materials.

CPI and NCC to jointly develop next-gen graphene-based materials

The Center for Process Innovation (CPI) will be collaborating with the National Composites Center (NCC) to develop advanced lightweight materials. The project, known as ‘Enhanced structural composites’ (ECOi), is evaluating the functionality and applicability of new graphene-enhanced materials in a variety of industries.

The University of Manchester will be consulting on the ECOi project at their National Graphene Institute, to generate and test a variety of new graphene composites that have improved functional properties compared to current materials.

NGI and ATI release a joint paper on the potential of graphene in aerospace

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester have published a joint paper on the potential of graphene in aerospace, or more precisely the potential market opportunities available to UK aerospace companies. Organizations that also worked on the paper included the University of Central Lancashire, the Center for Process Innovation, QinetiQ, Morson Projects Limited and Haydale with input from Ekosgen.

The safety and performance properties of aircraft could be significantly improved by incorporating atomically-thin graphene into existing materials used to build planes, while the reduced weight of the material could have a positive impact on the fuel efficiency of the aircraft and, as result, the environment.

Graphene and hBN join to create unique ‘petri-dish’

Researchers at The University of Manchester and the NGI have shown how graphene and boron nitride can be used for observing nanomaterials in liquids, by creating a ‘petri-dish’ of sorts.

Graphene and hBN ''petri-dishes'' image

Scanning / transmission electron microscopy (S/TEM) is one of only few techniques that allows imaging and analysis of individual atoms. However, the S/TEM instrument requires a high vacuum to protect the electron source and to prevent electron scattering from molecular interactions. Several studies have previously revealed that the structure of functional materials at room temperature in a vacuum can significantly different from that in their normal liquid environment. So, it is important to be able to study the structure at the required state.

Graphene-enhanced shoes poised to start a footwear revolution

The University of Manchester has teamed up with British sportswear brand Inov-8 to become the world's first company to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes. Laboratory tests have shown that the rubber outsoles of the newly developed shoes, planned to arrive on the market in 2018, are stronger, more stretchy and more resistant to wear.

NGI and Inov8 develop graphene-enhance shoes image

Michael Price, inov-8 Product and Marketing Director, said: “Off-road runners and fitness athletes live at the sporting extreme and need the stickiest outsole grip possible to optimize their performance, be that when running on wet trails or working out in sweaty gyms. For too long, they have had to compromise this need for grip with the knowledge that such rubber wears down quickly... Now, utilizing the groundbreaking properties of graphene, there is no compromise. The new rubber we have developed with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester allows us to smash the limits of grip. Our lightweight G-Series shoes deliver a combination of traction, stretch and durability never seen before in sports footwear. 2018 will be the year of the world’s toughest grip.”