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.

Pipes laminated with graphene could reduce corrosion in the oil and gas industry

Researchers at The University of Manchester and TWI have discovered ways of using graphene to prolong the lifetime of pipes used in the oil and gas industry. The team has designed a way of incorporating graphene into a polymer liner used in pipes that transport crude oil and gas from the sea floor. This technology has the potential to extend the life of the underwater pipework and therefore reduce the time between repairs.

Such pipes are generally made of internal layers of polymer or composite and external strengthening steel. Within these pipes, fluids may be at very high pressure and elevated temperature. In situations where carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and water permeate through the protective barrier layer of the pipe, the steel may corrode causing the pipe to lose strength over time, leading to a risk of catastrophic failure.

Graphene enables novel thermal camouflage system

Researchers from Bilkent University and Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey, MIT and University of Manchester have developed a system that can reconfigure its thermal appearance to blend in with varying temperatures in a matter of seconds.

Graphene thermal camouflage system image

Previously, scientists have tried to develop thermal camouflage for various applications, but they have encountered problems such as slow response speed, lack of adaptability to different temperatures and the requirement for rigid materials. The team in this research wanted to develop a fast, rapidly adaptable and flexible material.

Inov-8 and manchester University launch graphene-enhanced shoes

In December 2017, Manchester University teamed up with British sportswear brand Inov-8 to become the world's first company to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes. Now, Inov-8 announced a new shoe that features graphene, which are hoped to be "a game changer in the industry".

Inov-8 and Manchester University's launch graphene-enhanced shoes image

The Ultimate goal will be to reduce the weight of running shoes by 50%, according to Michael Price, Inov-8’s product and marketing director. The company announced The G-Series range which includes three different shoes – two trail-oriented shoes and one geared for cross-training. The Company estimates that the TerraUltra G 260 will likely be the most popular in Canada – it’s geared for more strenuous trail efforts. The Mudclaw G 260 is geared for extra muddy terrain and obstacle courses. Finally the F-Lite G 290 has been developed for cross-fit athletes to wear in the gym. Each shoe includes graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles and breathable mesh uppers that are enforced with Kevlar.

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.

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