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.”

NGI and William Blythe to collaborate on graphene-enhanced energy storage project

The NGI at The University of Manchester and William Blythe have announced the start of a new joint research project, targeting the development of high capacity graphene-related materials for use in the electric vehicle market.

The project will combine William Blythe’s core capabilities in inorganic synthetic chemistry and their graphene-oxide with the specialist experience of The University of Manchester’s Professor Robert Dryfe and the energy storage team at the NGI.

Manchester team creates graphene oxide membranes that can filter organic solvents

Researchers at the National Graphene Institute and School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at The University of Manchester have developed an ultra-thin membrane using graphene-oxide sheets, that were assembled in a way that they were able to completely remove various organic dyes, dissolved in methanol, which were as small as a nanometre. This is exciting as GO membranes were once thought to be permeable only to aqueous solutions, but the researchers developed a new form of graphene oxide membrane that can filter organic solvents.

Manchetser and NGI team created unique GO membranes image

In the newly developed ultrathin membranes, graphene-oxide sheets are assembled in such a way that pinholes formed during the assembly are interconnected by graphene nanochannels, which produces an atomic-scale sieve allowing the large flow of solvents through the membrane. When used to filter Cognac and whisky, the membrane permitted alcohol to pass through but trapped the larger molecules that gives the whisky its color. Professor Nair, which led the group, said that "the clear whisky smells similar to the original whisky but we are not allowed to drink it in the lab, however it was a funny Friday night experiment!”

XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009