Graphene is becoming a steadily more popular choice for manufacturing, so graphene production companies are on the rise. What is this material, how is it made, and what is it for? Let’s take a look.
What Is Graphene?
Graphene exists in flat honeycomb patterns that make it one of the strongest materials in the world, as a sturdier offshoot of carbon. It is a million times thinner than paper, and is so thin and flat that it’s considered two-dimensional instead of three-dimensional. If you’ve heard of graphite, then you’re familiar with the general material that graphene is made of.
When Was It Discovered?
Graphene is naturally occurring, but scientists have discovered how to manipulate it over time for different manufacturing purposes, mainly during the 2000s. In 2002, a researcher at the University of Manchester decided to dig in and determine how fine and flat of a material graphene could be made into. They eventually reached their goal of accomplishing a single layer of carbon atoms, garnering a Nobel Prize for their work in 2010.
What Makes Graphene Stand Out?
There’s a reason that graphene has become a material of choice in the world of manufacturing. It exhibits distinct properties that make it useful in a variety of settings. For instance, graphene somehow allows electrons to move easily through it, and quickly—and in doing so, these electrons resemble a massless state. This is how particles at an incredible miniscule scale operate—so to mimic that state makes graphene anomalous as a solid material. It is solid, but anyone who’s ever used a graphite pencil recognizes that it’s a delicate kind of solid. That’s what makes it so useful in writing utensils, because of its delicacy.
What Are Some Characteristics of Graphene?
Traits of graphene that make it useful in particular manufacturing settings are that it can be strong, conductive, flexible, and transparent, depending on how it is configured. It allows electrons to travel through it relatively freely and 200 times faster than silicon. In terms of strength, when graphene is properly structured together, it is an incredibly strong material—stronger than diamond. Its thinness makes it flexible as well, so that it can be twisted and bent into a variety of shapes without breaking or losing its strength. And graphene can also be transparent, allowing you to see through the material without the effect of a glare to hinder you.
In short, there is a reason why graphene manufacturing companies are growing greater in demand. Graphene is expected to take the industry by storm in a similar way to silicon in the past. Wise developers are just trying to stay ahead of the curve.