Graphene for Marine Applications

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Leo Lazauskas, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    Admittedly it is very early days in the development of applications for graphene, but has anyone thought of something marine-related yet?

    Thinner stronger sails?
    Lighter electrical systems?
    Stronger, thinner hulls?

    It isn't my field, but I'm interested to hear what people are hoping for.
     
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  2. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    So the stuff wants to curl up like a cinnamon roll? That could be useful. Mini springs. Suppose you had some tiny fibers and you laid the stands on this stuff and let it curl up. They would be lightly cross polymerized and you'd have something like fine spider's silk. We've never come anywhere near making a fiber like best spider's silk. Think bungee cord with the strength of Nylon. Handy for boat fenders, surgical gloves, light weight sound deadening material and condoms. Everyone seems to be trying to make big sheets because they ought to be stable above 2400 atoms or so. Stable is boring. I think the money will be in the goofy behavior of the unstable little bits. There is art in the goofy stuff. The stable stuff will become a commodity. So make some fragments and identify the ones that scroll up and figure out how to sort those out and add them to an electrospinner and see how it goes. Hopefully, the graphene scrolls would replicate the semicrystalline blocks shown in the image below.

    electrospinning- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_cone
    spider silk structure-
     

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  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    My very simple understanding is that graphene is an individual layer of graphite, and a single graphene layer is probably too thin by itself for marine scale applications. If layers of graphene are assembled to create a thicker material or fibers how would the result differ from some forms of graphite?
     
  4. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    It can be layered in many different directions, and with layers of different material between sheets of graphene, so it can have properties that are very different to graphite.
     
  5. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Layered between single or several atom thickness layers of other materials?

    My perhaps incorrect understanding of "graphene" is that when multiple layers of graphene are graphite. Perhaps it is a matter of terminology.
     
  6. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    I have seen references to single layers of graphene coated with single layers of SiO2, nickel and various other materials.
    Some atoms in the graphene sheet can also be replaced with other elements to create thin "wires" and other electrical oddities.
     
  7. yipster
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    yipster designer

    Keep me updated
     
  8. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    You will see many reports in the news and other media about this unusual material.

    (Apologies: I should have started this thread in the "Materials" forum.)
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  10. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Guys this was posted a few months ago, and the science hasn't changed. There are some interesting physical properties of this stuff, but it is, and will never be a material used in boat building per se. By definition it is a one atom thick two deminsional sheet of carbon atoms. When stacked these sheets are graphite. I just can't imagine an application where a single atom thick molecule would be useful outside perhaps electronics of some sort.
     
  11. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    Graphene can be made into long fibres (and therefore woven into larger structures), and in sheets with alternating layers of other materials, i.e. it can be used to replace carbon fibre.
     
  12. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Leo,

    What you have described is graphite composite construction... Available now, but not really in heavy demand in the marine industry. The only thing interesting about graphene is its single layer thick atomic arrangement, once you loose this which is necessary in macro materials like boats it littlerly is nothing more than pencil graphite.

    In fact one of the more common ways of making graphene is to run pencil residue over and over again with paper.
     
  13. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    Thanks, I know how it is made using pencil rubbings in simple demonstrations
    to students and the public, and I am aware of its properties in single-layer
    form.

    To me, the view that it is only effective in single sheet form is pretty limited,
    unimaginative, and it ignores the many research projects being reported in
    chemistry, physics, and engineering journals. In short, you are wrong :)

    Search for "graphene composites" in Google and Google Scholar to see how
    much there is already in the open literature. I assure you there is much more
    happening that isn't making it into the public domain.

    Boeing and other aircraft designers are looking at how graphene (in various
    composite forms) might be used in construction, as are motor vehicle
    designers. To me it is a natural progression for the materials to find their way
    into marine applications. It might take a couple of decades, of course.
     
  14. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I would point out that XG Composites, which is one of the manufacturers of bulk graphene in powder form specifically refers to using it in composite materials as graphite. I would be interested to see some data on its physical properties when combines with epoxy or other resins, but as I understand it, graphene is simply another physical form of common graphite.
     

  15. yipster
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    yipster designer

    Looks like I have to start my own research again :mad:
    on discovery tv graphene's strenght was mentioned
     
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