UOW researchers develop ‘bullet proof’ graphene
UOW researchers have used graphene to develop a new composite material which can produce the toughest fibres to date- even tougher than spider silk and Kevlar!
Graphene, the latest discovery in the nano world of carbon, has proven to be an amazing building block for advanced materials. The new graphene composite can be wet-spun into fibres with potential applications in bullet-proof vests and reinforcements for advanced composite materials.
As published today in Nature Communications, researchers from the UOW-based Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) have shown that graphene can work just as carbon nanotubes, a more common toughening agent, in polymer composites. It is also a much cheaper material and can be produced easily in large quantities.
ACES Senior Researcher and paper co-author Professor Geoff Spinks said the ratio of grapheme to carbon nanotubes was a key factor in the development of the composite.
“Quite surprisingly, we found that a ‘magic mixture’ of equal parts carbon nanotubes and graphene added to the polymer gave exceptionally high toughness,” he said.
“Fibres made from other combinations of these materials were not especially tough at all.”
Professor Spinks explained that the super tough fibres can be produced easily by a wet-spinning method and can be readily up-scaled. In this case, fibres were spun by collaborators at the Centre for Bio-Artificial Muscle at Hanyang University, Korea.
ACES Executive Research Director Professor Gordon Wallace said such international collaborations were critical for effective and efficient progress at the cutting edge of science.
“This particular project benefitted from the supply of the graphene building blocks using a process invented here in Australia and further developed using the skills and facilities available through the Australian National Fabrication Facility- Materials node,” he said.
The team has also supplied graphene materials to other research activities in the USA, Korea and France.
By: Natalie Foxon, ACES.
+61 2 4221 4227 | firstname.lastname@example.org
UOW IN THE NEWS
Australian universities climb Times ...
Sydney Morning Herald | 2 Oct
Questacon demonstrates 3D printing...
Canberra Times | 1 Oct
Back to the Future as Wollongong...
ABC Illawarra | 30 Sept
HSC exam guide: how to help your...
The Conversation | 30 Sept
Toddler tech envy: Two-year-olds n...
Sunday Telegraph | 28 Sept
Do the proposed anti-terror laws i...
2SER | 25 Sept
Five ways to relax
Body + Soul | 25 Sept
Positives in negative results: when ...
The Conversation | 25 Sept
Finding Nemo's personality
Australian Geographic | 23 Sept
‘Medieval’ makes a comeback in m...
The Conversation | 22 Sept
Back to school means moving out ...
Australian Financial Review | 22 Sept
Born In The Wild
SBS TV | 20 Sept
To restore federalism, strengthen...
The Conversation | 18 Sept
Australian women desert technol...
Sydney Morning Herald | 18 Sept