JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 41

Gambling with graphene....
Will it pay off?
Graphene has been hailed as the miracle material of the 21st century. But so far, the most available commercial composite product
with graphene in it is a tennis racket and that seems to be more of a
marketing ploy than for engineering reasons. So does graphene really
have limitless potential? And if it does have potential, why hasn't
graphene taken off yet? These questions are discussed in this article
from a structural composites perspective.

By
Edward Pullicino
Phd rEsEarchEr,
Prof costas soutis
dirEctor of thE aErosPacE rEsEarch institutE,
dr. MatthiEu GrEsil
lEcturEr in thE school of MatErials,
univErsity of ManchEstEr

G

raphene is a one atom-thick (0.33
nm) sheet made of carbon atoms,
arranged in a honeycomb (hexagonal) lattice. It is a multi-functional
nanomaterial additive for polymers and
composites. When reading the literature,
graphene's properties appear to outperform other materials in almost all ways. It
is 200 times stronger than steel [1] but also
highly stretchable [2]. It can conduct heat
100 times better than copper [3]. Electrons
travel fastest across graphene's surface than
any other material at room temperature [4].
All of these properties are crammed into a
material which is a billion times thinner than
a human hair.
These properties bring high expectations.

- Gambling with graphene,
will it pay off ? ........... p41
- Boeing simulates thermal
expansion in composites
with expanded metal foil
for lightning protection of
aircraft structures ...... p45

Graphene could promise stronger, lighter
planes with better fuel efficiency. The wings
and fuselage could be coated with graphene
to dissipate electrical charge during lightning
strikes. Its high electron mobility could see
it replace silicon in transistors for circuit
boards. With its two-dimensional structures
and high surface area, it could become the
most sensitive sensor. The list goes on.
In an effort to realise these applications,
there has been huge investment. Manchester
University has invested £63 million to build
a National Graphene Institute focussed
solely on graphene research and the Graphene Flagship (the EU's biggest research
initiative) has a budget of 1 billion euros. Is
this investment justifiable considering the
lack of graphene products on the market?
What are the challenges that are stopping us
from seeing graphene in action?

Research & development

graphene

The challenges
In composites, the main challenge is to
understand how to transfer the properties of graphene from the nanoscale to the
macroscale. Take the mechanical properties of graphene for example. Saying this
material is 200 times stronger than steel is
misleading. It is like comparing the strength
of an ant to the strength of a human. An
ant can carry up to 50 times its own body
weight which is the equivalent of a human
carrying a medium-sized van (see Figure 1).
This is a very impressive feat but an ant will
never be able to lift a 20 kg dumbbell in the
No99 September 2015 /

jec composites magazine 41


http://www.jeccomposites.com/events/jec-asia-2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015

Cover
Edito
Point of view: The future of mass production
Contents
Companies & Business
In brief
Interview UCI - “Our aim is to ensure bicyclers are safe to race”
Agenda of Events
Applications
Recreational aviation - A recreational airplane as advanced as the latest widebodied aircraft
Sports & leisure - Cork, flax and green epoxy: a perfect balance for a skateboard
Medical - Lightweight emergency medical cot
Market
Natural fibres - Tending towards optimism
SPECIAL JEC FORUMS
Interview - MIT-NECST Lab: a research consortium dedicated to composites in Aeronautics
Conferences - Gain insight into the JEC 2015 Forums conferences programme
FEATURE WIND ENERGY
Wind energy - Double-digit growth continues
Design - A wind turbine without blades
Simulation - Visualizing RTM behaviour using advanced 3D CAE technology
Permeability - Optimizing fabrics for wind blade infusion
Automation - Automation strategies in rotor blade production: preforming vs. direct textile layup
Recycling - Recycling decommissioned composite wind blades
Platform - An internet aid for advances in wind turbine blade design
Research & Development
Graphene - Gambling with graphene, will it pay off ?
Thermal expansion - Boeing simulates thermal expansion in composites with expanded metal foil for lightning protection of aircraft structures
Technology & Innovations
Heating - Power transfer in complex shape heated moulds or functional composites
Manufacturing - Tension control in composites manufacturing
3D printing - A fully biodegradable flax fibre-reinforced thermoplastic filament for 3D printing
RTM/LCM - Fast production epoxies for lightweight automotive composites
Index
In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Point of view: The future of mass production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 10
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Interview UCI - “Our aim is to ensure bicyclers are safe to race”
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Recreational aviation - A recreational airplane as advanced as the latest widebodied aircraft
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Sports & leisure - Cork, flax and green epoxy: a perfect balance for a skateboard
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Medical - Lightweight emergency medical cot
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Natural fibres - Tending towards optimism
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Interview - MIT-NECST Lab: a research consortium dedicated to composites in Aeronautics
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Conferences - Gain insight into the JEC 2015 Forums conferences programme
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Wind energy - Double-digit growth continues
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Design - A wind turbine without blades
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Simulation - Visualizing RTM behaviour using advanced 3D CAE technology
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Permeability - Optimizing fabrics for wind blade infusion
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Automation - Automation strategies in rotor blade production: preforming vs. direct textile layup
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Recycling - Recycling decommissioned composite wind blades
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Platform - An internet aid for advances in wind turbine blade design
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Graphene - Gambling with graphene, will it pay off ?
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Thermal expansion - Boeing simulates thermal expansion in composites with expanded metal foil for lightning protection of aircraft structures
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Heating - Power transfer in complex shape heated moulds or functional composites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Manufacturing - Tension control in composites manufacturing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 54
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 3D printing - A fully biodegradable flax fibre-reinforced thermoplastic filament for 3D printing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - RTM/LCM - Fast production epoxies for lightweight automotive composites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - Index
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #99 - September 2015 - 68
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