iCrowdNewswire - Aug 22, 2016
A nanotech startup, Graphene Composites aim to combine graphene with aerogel forming one of the strongest, lightest and most resilient materials ever. Targeting aircraft, cabling and vehicle/body protection industries to improve performance, GCL is raising funds to develop and patent the prototype.
Graphic showing the honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms in graphene; also shows how electrons can move quickly across the surface of graphene. Source: University of Manchester, National Graphene Institute
Aerogels can withstand high temperatures; some types provide 39x more heat insulation than fibreglass. Source: NASA
Aerogels are excellent shock absorbers; particles travelling 6x faster than a rifle bullet can be stopped by a block of aerogel. Aerogel captured comet particles in the NASA Stardust mission. Source: NASA
With the GCL graphene/aerogel composite, air should flow easily over the smooth graphene surface, and the aerogel should both dampen vibrations and provide insulation. Source: GCL; proprietary technology.
Used in cables, the graphene should provide strength (c. 100x stronger than steel), and the aerogel should dampen vibrations. GCL cable should be much lighter than steel. Source: GCL; proprietary technology.
Used in armour, the combination of tough graphene layers and shock-absorbing aerogel layers should dissipate impacts effectively. GCL armour would also be much lighter. Source: GCL; proprietary technology.
One potential application for an ultra-strong GCL graphene/aerogel cable is in the space elevator, where an ultra-strong, ultra-light, resilient cable could be used to lift payloads into space. Source: NASA
GCL graphene/aerogel composite can be used in aircraft skins, where not only can the strength and lightness improve performance, the insulating power can save heating energy. Source: Magnus Manske
Graphene Composites Ltd (GCL) is a nanotechnology startup – we hope to combine graphene (the strongest known material, 100x stronger than steel) with aerogel (one of the lightest and best insulators/shock absorbers) to form a composite that we hope will be one of the strongest, lightest, most resilient materials ever made. Whilst there has been a great deal of work done on both graphene and aerogel, we believe we have conceived an innovative way to combine graphene with aerogel into a composite. We are targeting three main product/customer areas: (1) aircraft skins, (2) ultra-strong cables, and (3) vehicle/body armour. All of these are large markets, and we expect strong demand for GCL graphene/aerogel composites because they could significantly improve product performance in all of these areas. We intend to generate revenues from grant programmes for initial prototype development, and then from production licensing agreements once we have proven commercial viability. A key advantage that we have in developing our graphene/aerogel composite is a strong relationship with the government-funded Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) with whom agreements have been signed. This enables us to draw upon the experience of CPI’s nanotechnology specialists, and gives us access to CPI’s facilities (including their Graphene Application Innovation Centre). This will save both time and money.