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

    Search for "graphene composite" and you will find many references that do not mention graphite.
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready


    From energy-electronics in post # 9: This shows numerous potential applications in the marine industry from batteries to improved composites strength including replacing carbon nanotubes which are being used in masts now to increase strength. This stuff seems to be to be extraordinary with incredibly diverse applications in the marine field including fuel tanks.
    Here is an excerpt:

    A Michigan State University (MSU) team developed a nanomaterial-xGnP Exfoliated Graphite NanoPlatelets-that makes plastic stiffer, lighter and stronger. The key to the new material’s capabilities is a fast and inexpensive process for separating layers of graphite (graphene) into stacks less than 10 nanometers in thickness but with lateral dimensions anywhere from 500 nm to tens of microns, coupled with the ability to tailor the particle surface chemistry to make it compatible with water, resin or plastic systems. The small stacks of graphene can replace carbon nanotubes, nano-clays, or other carbon compounds in many composite applications. When added in small amounts (2-3%) to plastics or resins, the nanoparticles make these materials electrically or thermally conductive and less permeable, while simultaneously improving mechanical properties like strength, stiffness, or surface toughness. When used alone or in conjunction with carbon or glass fibers, the nanoparticles enhance electrical and thermal conductivity-producing strong, lightweight composites suitable for aerospace, automotive, or electronic applications. Combined with metal nanoparticles, (xGnP + nanoparticle), the material has potential for applications in fuel cells, supercapacitors, batteries and hydrogen storage. The material will be instrumental in the development of new and expanded applications in the aerospace, automotive and packaging industries. The graphene nanoparticles are being manufactured by a new startup company, XG Sciences Inc., located in mid-Michigan and a spinoff from intellectual property owned by MSU. Potential applications of xGnP include:
    • Lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft and car parts, and stronger wind turbines, medical implants and sports equipment.
    • Surface coatings on Li-ion electrodes and transparent conductive coatings for solar cells and displays.
    Lightweight gasoline tanks and leak-tight and plastic containers that keep food fresh for weeks.
    Vorbeck Materials is making inroads in graphene technology with its Vor-ink conductive inks and Vor-x graphene formulations and composites. Vorbeck Materials utilizes technology originally licensed from Princeton University, where three of Vorbeck's founders were professors. In conjunction with BASF, Vorbeck established a joint research program to develop graphene-based formulations and composite materials. As part of the collaboration, Vorbeck and BASF are developing dispersions of highly conductive graphene for producing electrically conductive coatings and compounds, especially for the electronics industry. Graphene formulations offer key benefits, most notably improved conductivity; even in thin coatings of 1 micron, Vorink maintains its rated conductivity. Vorbeck has developed a scalable process and commissioned a pilot plant capable of manufacturing graphene in ton quantities.
  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    I searched and found several references that didn't use the word "graphite". But the all talked about graphene as single atom thick sheets of carbon though some have other materials added to the surfaces of the graphene. Several also discussed how "graphene" could be much less expensive than carbon nano-tubes because of the low cost of graphite from which it was obtained.

    Puzzled what your point is? As far as I can see graphene sheets are the basic building block of graphite, and the simpliest way to obtain graphene is to literally tear graphite apart.
  4. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    You know I thought the same thing about all the hurah that was stirred up when nano-technology first came into being.....just too small to be worth while. Boy was I wrong.

    So when I received this in an email today, I had to go searching on the forums to see what might have been posted.

    (I thought about putting this under another heading as it may eventually effect a lot of systems on our vessels, but its just too broad of a subject)
  5. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    too expensive .... it will be decades before prices come down to useable levels.
  7. yipster
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    yipster designer

  8. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    The problem will be multi-fold.

    Cost of the process itself.

    Application(s). Most likely medical industry and aeronautics will be early adopters.

    Then, we will begin to see actual usability in general.

    Still waiting to see it applied to anything.
  9. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  10. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  11. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Brian, I am just wondering whether the elephant grass as mentioned in thread #1168 of Batteries and New Battery technologies, are not a form of Graphene. The local tribes are using this grass mixed with epoxy glue in their hulls of their boats and claim it is very light and extremely strong. I probably have it totally wrong, I should have taken some grass back for analyses. However, I did not want to be in trouble during the 11 police/veterinary road blocks I experienced. But we shouldn't rule out the clever way African Tribes are using plants and vegetation. Bert
  12. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Hi Bert,
    Back to the subject of batteries, which I will add this posting to the 'batteries' subject thread,.....What do you think of this suggestion on this video that this grapheme substance will have a big effect on future battery technology?? minute 4:00 into this video (almost at the end)
  13. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Well to address the original question, if it increases energy density as advertised it may make electric propulsion actually realistic, will probably make pv panels more efficient too.
    What I'm wondering is if incorporated into sailcloth could it shape sails with an electric current ?
  14. richfcollins
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    richfcollins New Member

    While it is true that graphite is made of stacked sheets of natural graphene, these are tiny pieces of graphene, usually micrometers in diameter, hence the graphite is breakable. Graphene sheets are now being synthesized in sheets up to 1 meter across, so stacking these sheets would have millions of times the surface area of contact (vs natural graphene), so it's possible that no epoxy would be needed. If graphene were the thickness of paper it would have thousands of layers and be 100 times stronger than steel. Imagine hulls the thickness of paper, that's 100 times lighter than present hulls. Besides graphene a new material has been discovered, nanowires. These are also one atom thick but with the molecular structure of diamond. Although properties are unproven these wires hold great promise. Since it's one atom thick would be nearly invisible and have virtually no weight. These could be used for rigging, although I think I would want to see my rigging, perhaps wire could be made thick enough to be visible. Let's see what the future holds.

  15. schakel
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    schakel environmental project Msc

    Some news about what Alex Thomson with Hugo Boss Imoca 60 is undertaking with graphene.
    The application is coatings, quoted in the last line of this Article: "They will consider inclusion of Haydale Graphenes into barrier films and coatings and will investigate how the specific graphene enhanced coatings could improve boat performance."

    Well that's a beginning. What about use graphene as thin film that is sheeting-material for the wings of the America's cup? Additional increasment strength of aramide lined resins as construction material for hulls?

    When it is as strong and light as was promised during the Nobel-prize giving in 2010, a mayor design advantage for sailboat-racing is obvious.
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