When it comes to the world of materials science, graphene is the new hotness. This wonder material is strong, light, and has a number of potential applications. But is graphene really bulletproof? The answer may surprise you. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at graphene and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
Is graphene bulletproof?
There’s no definitive answer to this question yet, as graphene has only been tested for its bulletproof potential in a limited number of scenarios. However, the preliminary results look promising and suggest that graphene could eventually be used to create bulletproof armor and other safety gear.
What Is Graphene?
Graphene is a very thin sheet of pure carbon. It’s only one atom thick and is flat like a record album or a potato chip. Graphene was discovered in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester – they won the Nobel Prize for their discovery in 2010. In this article, we will discuss how graphene works, what it’s good for, and why many people are excited about it.
Why Graphene Is Bulletproof?
Graphene is considered the first two-dimensional crystal. It has a thickness of about one carbon atom and it consists entirely of carbon atoms. Because of its thinnest possible form, it is also referred to as ‘ chicken wire’. Nevertheless, it has many incredible properties which make scientists believe that graphene will be integrated in our daily life in the near future. This article shall discuss five good practical examples which prove why graphene holds such an important position among upcoming materials.
5 reasons why graphene is bulletproof
Since graphene consists out of only one layer – or even none because some techniques produce it with no layers at all -, it can adapt to other structures very well. An example could be seen in the picture below, where a graphene sheet is placed on the top of a DVD. The material can also be used to store memory because it can store different information in each layer and selectively read out the desired data.
Because graphene only consists of a single layer, it can be bent without damaging its structure. In contrast to other materials which would break or change shape dramatically, graphene sheets won’t have any problems with sudden breaks.
In addition to being very flexible, graphene has extraordinary high electron mobility. This means that electricity flows through the material without losing much energy during this process. However, scientists still have difficulties making large sheets of graphene because certain ‘ impurities’ in the carbon structure decrease this conductivity significantly. But this problem shall be solved within the next years, where graphene will become a much more popular material for electronic devices.
3. Electromagnetic force
Graphene is an excellent conductor which means that it can support electromagnetic waves very well. This also makes it possible to use graphene as an antenna in radios or other electrical appliances because it has a lot of free electrons to send and receive these waves. The ability to transfer electricity becomes larger with each additional layer which holds true for other materials as well though, but scientists are convinced that there are key differences between two-dimensional crystals and their three-dimensional counterparts.
4. Relative ease of production
The process of creating large sheets of graphene is already here today. Although still expensive, the prices decline rapidly every year. Only five years ago, a gram of graphene cost more than one dollar. Today, it is possible to buy several kilograms for that same dollar sum and around 2020 one might expect further declines with this price per gram.
Finally, graphene is also referred to as ‘ bulletproof’. Indeed, its structure makes it very strong and difficult to break down. A comparison can be seen on the picture below where (from left to right) an image of a pencil scratching a piece of paper, the same pencil breaking through the paper and finally breaking through graphene.
It remains interesting though how our society will deal with these upcoming materials in the near future; especially because we do not know yet which side effects they might have on humans and the environment. For this reason, even though graphene has a lot of exciting properties, we should keep in mind that it is only one material and not a universal solution for all our problems.
Where Does Graphene Come From?
When people talk about the future of technology, they often reference one important material: graphene. A graphene is a form of carbon that’s only one atom thick and 200 times stronger than steel. Scientists have been studying it for years to see how they can get it to do things like make sustainable energy sources or touch-screen displays on smartphones. There are several ways scientists create this remarkable material, but here are five of the most interesting examples:
1. Growing it in a lab
Before you open up a pack of gum, look at its wrapper—you may already be using graphene! Though standards vary from country to country, some countries require that their manufacturers add nanomaterials into products. This new form of carbon has been shaped into nanoplatelets, which are 1/50,000th the thickness of a human hair. These platelets act as little bridges between gum fibers so that they can hold together more easily than if they were just wrapped in paper alone.
2. Making it out of pencil lead
While graphene is usually made by creating single-layer sheets using exotic machines, you don’t need unusual equipment to make this carbon material. Just grab some graphite (pencil lead) and arrange it into flat layers under heat and pressure, like how LEGO blocks stack up next to each other. The resulting material has the same two-dimensional structure you’ll find in graphene. So if you ever wondered what would happen if an engineer decided to take apart your pencil and use the graphite inside as a building material, now you know.
3. Pulling it out of carbon nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes are like rolled-up graphene sheets, and they make for great conductors. If engineers can control how those sheets unroll, they might be able to design transistor switches that can operate 100 times faster than current technology. This would help electrons flow through computer circuits much faster so that our devices have more processing power—and better graphics capabilities. To create this faster switch, engineers take nanotubes with the right properties and put them into a vacuum chamber filled with argon gas. When electric charges are applied to these gases, bonds between carbon atoms start breaking, releasing pure monolayer graphene.
4. Growing it in your backyard
You can grow graphene out of carbon-rich materials like sugarcane, molasses, or even pencil shavings! You just need to mix together the right ingredients at high temperatures, which could be generated by using organic waste. The resulting material has a lot of the same properties you’ll find in graphene, but for one important part—it’s not two-dimensional. It’s actually made up of roughly 15 stacked layers of graphene, so graphene earned its name because it’s literally one atom thick. That means this new
the form is probably worse at conducting electricity than pristine forms of monolayer graphene, but there are still reasons why people would want to use it.
5. Making small strands out of big chunks
Carbon nanotubes aren’t the only way we can get several graphene sheets to stack up together. Engineers also make multi-layer graphene by taking small bits of monolayer and layering them onto a plate one at a time. These little patches will eventually touch each other, but they’re not thick enough yet to form another layer, so you end up with lots of tiny graphene pieces instead. When engineers take these individual layers and shuffle them around like cards in a deck, they’ll find that some stacks are easier to move around than others. That means those stacks will have more weak spots where the atoms actually break apart and form interlayers —and that’s how we end up with multilayer graphene.
The Bottom Line
Graphene is incredibly strong and durable, making it a good candidate for use in armor and other protective materials. It is also thin and lightweight, which could make it ideal for use in transportation applications. However, more research is needed to determine the feasibility of using graphene in these ways.
How is graphene made?
Graphene is made from a sheet of carbon that is just one atom thick. It can be made in several ways, but the most common way to produce graphene is by peeling off one atomic layer of graphite with a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process.
How strong is graphene?
Graphene is incredibly strong–about 200 times stronger than steel. It’s also very light and flexible, making it a great material for a variety of applications. Some possible uses for graphene include energy storage, aerospace engineering, water filtration, and biomedical technologies.
What are the benefits of graphene?
Some potential benefits of graphene include:
-Very high electrical and thermal conductivity
-Extreme strength and flexibility
-High absorption of light (including ultraviolet and infrared)
-Superior water repellency
-High electron mobility, which could make it a good candidate for use in electronic devices