Did You Know that Graphene is Stronger Than Steel?

Did You Know that Graphene is Stronger Than Steel?

Engineers at MIT have been working hard to create one of the strongest and lightest materials in existence. They may be able to stop searching with the latest discovery of graphene. This material was first discovered by a physics professor and his PhD student in a laboratory in Manchester, using a piece of graphite and some Scotch tape. Now it is presenting possibilities for use across multiple industries.

image © UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences

image © UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences

While it's initial property is comparable to a piece of paper (pictured above), when manipulated it proves to be stronger than steel. Due to it's strength when manipulated, it has endless potential for use by scientists, engineers and inventors. 

 
 

Engineers at MIT recognized the potential of graphene and began experimenting in ways to make it stronger. Using graphene, the engineers have discovered that when arranged in the proper molecular configuration it becomes 10 times stronger than steel and only 5% as dense as steel which presents interesting implications for building technology.

image © Zhao Qin

image © Zhao Qin

The material was discovered when researchers at MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering configured the graphene into a structure resembling minuscule coral creatures called diatoms. The result was a strong and ultralight material. Researcher Zhao Qin suggests that if the material can be produced in large amounts it may mean substituting some of the steel used for construction and infrastructure.


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