It’s not every day you get to hold a piece of the future in your hands. Today is an exception. Rob and I work on the Nixene Journal at the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) in Manchester, UK and we took a little time out to see the latest innovation.
This small grey cube in Rob’s hands is a sample of concrete made with graphene.
If the global construction industry was to adopt this technology tomorrow then 25% less cement would need to be made. This in turn would mean a potential reduction in global CO2emissions of 2% just from this one application.
This is why we think we are holding a piece of the future in our hands. The GEIC really is an exciting place to work.
Graphene is often branded the ‘wonder material’. Why? The material is 200 times stronger than steel, has the highest melting point of any known material and is the best conductor of both heat and electricity of any known material to name just a few reasons… and it’s 100,000 times thinner than a strand of human hair. It’s not surprising then that eventually graphene will transform and revolutionise many industries from manufacturing, energy, and aerospace, to transportation, pharmaceuticals, and electronics.
When people discover what an incredible impact graphene can have on such a wide range of applications they start to sit up and take notice. This was certainly the case when our Editor in Chief, Adrian Nixon enjoyed the privilege of delivering a presentation covering the latest developments in graphene at the American Graphene Summit on May 21st-22nd hosted by the National Graphene Association in Washington DC.
The Summit brought current and future influential leaders and stakeholders in the world of graphene together, along with American industry and government agencies, to open a dialogue enjoy discussions on the promising potential of graphene and how the material can excel in various industries and markets.
Adrian broke down the basics of graphene in a “Graphene 101” session and informed interested delegates about how graphene can enhance bike tyres to improve the performance of sports road tyres.
During his lively presentation, Adrian introduced his audience to an innovative company called Vittoria who has developed a new generation of graphene bike tyre (graphene 2.0) that is functionalised to improve specific tire performances.
How Does Graphene Improve Bike Tyres?
The results? Vittoria’s tyres deliver a marked improvement in performance for cyclists, including better mileage and enhanced road grip. In fact, in 2018 tyres by Vittoria enjoyed victory in every single Grand Tour time trial (ITT and TTT). The tyres were also triumphant in the European, French, Austrian, Brazilian, German, Russian and Pan-American Cross-Country championships.
How Does Vittoria Make Graphene Work for Their Bikes?
Vittoria applies graphene to its tires and wheels due to the incredible performance boost the graphene can provide for the bikes. The graphene mixes with rubber in the tyre by packing the space between the rubber molecules, which has been tried and tested to increase all positive performance metrics for cyclists, including speed, wet grip, durability and puncture resistance enhancement.
Adrian Adrian often speaks at conferences and events to educate audiences on the game-changing properties of graphene. The American Graphene Summit [pictures below and above from the National Graphene Association LinkedIn page] also saw him explain to delegates what the fine line between graphene and brittle graphite is – graphene is a single layer material whereas graphite is a commonly found mineral that comprises of multiple layers of graphene. Graphene also processes unique properties that surpass those of graphite.
For more information on the difference between graphene and graphite, we would recommend reading this article by AZoNano, a publication for the nanotechnology community.
The National Graphene Association
The National Graphene Association serves as the main organisation in the United States for supporting and promoting the commercialisation of graphene. One of the Association’s primary goals is to accelerate cross-industry momentum and seek ways to highlight previously untapped markets and industries that are ready for graphene integration. To do this, the organisation offers a variety of channels, for example, networking opportunities at conferences, expos, and workshops and partnerships to unite investors, developers. suppliers, government agencies, graphene entrepreneurs, and researchers.