Australia-based advanced materials company Talga Resources has reported high levels of electrical conductivity in concrete by using an additive developed from the Company’s graphene-graphite research and development laboratory in the UK.
The reported breakthrough offers substantial potential in existing and emerging industrial applications, particularly as concrete is the world’s largest construction material by volume. Talga shared information gathered from tests that show that the graphene-enhanced concrete is highly electrically conductive - attaining 0.05 ohm.cm volume resistivity.
Talga also says that the concrete adds potential ‘heating element’ function and that current applications include: underfloor heating (replacing plumbed hot water based installations), anti-static flooring, EMI shielding, strain sensors and grounding/lightning protection. There is also potential for the emerging application of solid-state heated roads for environmentally friendly way of clearing ice and snow from key transport routes and airports when compared to use of ploughs, corrosive salt, de-icing chemicals and wastewater treatment of runoff. Future potential includes role in dynamic and wireless charging of electric vehicles while driving.
Talga Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: “The initial test results show that Talga’s graphene-enhanced concrete achieves such high electrical conductivity that it can act like the heating element of an electric stove. This type of concrete has some exciting and large volume applications, and in some cases can combine with our thermally conductive concrete".
“Furthermore the conductivity is achieved with a very low loading of our graphene, but a larger amount of ore processing by-products, providing maximum potential for the most cost effective, scalable and eco-friendly development options".
“Talga is encouraged by these first tests and will move to take the prototype results to potential development partners in the world’s largest construction industry material.”