Graphene: what is it good for?

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Once regarded as a wonder material for the future, graphene is now finding numerous commercial applications in the hands of innovative companies. We take a whistle-stop tour of everyday items with a twist of graphene.

Graphene was originally identified for use as a transistor in computing, but as researchers catalogued its properties, it became clear that it could be used for many other applications.

Graphene is strong, light, thin and flexible. It is the thinnest substance capable of conducting electricity, is an efficient thermal conductor and is optically transparent.

In a functionalised form (i.e. when compatible chemical groups are added to the material surface to disperse the graphene) it is used with carbon fibre and composite products to strengthen and reduce the weight of sports equipment. In protective helmets, graphene-enhanced composites increase the strength to weight ratio to improve impact resistance.

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