Graphene paper: thin as paper and ten times stronger than steel

April 22, 2011
Graphene Paper

A graphene paper sample (credit: Lisa Aloisio)

A research team at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has reported “remarkable results” in the production of graphene paper, a composite material based on graphite that is as thin as paper and ten times stronger than steel.

The researchers have successfully milled raw graphite by purifying and filtering it with chemicals to reshape and reform it into nano-structured configurations, which are then processed into sheets as thin as paper.

These graphene nanosheet stacks consist of monolayer hexagonal carbon lattices and in perfectly arranged laminar structures which give them exceptional thermal, electrical and mechanical properties.

Using a synthesized method and heat treatment, the UTS research team produced material with extraordinary bending, rigidity and hardness mechanical properties. Compared to steel, the prepared graphene paper (GP) is six times lighter, five to six times lower density, two times harder with 10 times higher tensile strength, and 13 times higher bending rigidity.

The researchers foresee the use of graphene paper in the automotive and aviation industries, allowing the development of lighter and stronger cars and planes that use less fuel, generate less pollution, are cheaper to run, and are ecologically sustainable.

Ref.: Ali R. Ranjbartoreh et al., Advanced mechanical properties of graphene paper, Journal of Applied Physics, January 6, 2011