A honey-comb shaped lattice of carbon called graphene is an unusual structure in itself. The pattern, when placed in the form of multiple sheets put together, has proved to be significantly robust and efficient of increasing mechanical performance. Carbon is itself entirely reactive, and its compounds with anything that can make it stable, this particular chemical property of carbon has made it suitable for use in manufacturing different products as well as add more features to them.
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has announced that graphene’s mechanical properties are stronger when it gets layered. When monolayered graphene films are folded with efficiency, they show higher mechanical strength owing to the reinforcement offered by the similar polymers. Professor Rodney S. Ruoff is a distinguished scientist working for polymers. He with his research team from the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials (CMCM) has to lead this research. CMCM is located within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) at UNIST. To assist with the work, other teams lead by Professor Nicola Pugno from University of Trento in Italy, and Professor Seunghwa Ryu and Dr. Stefano Signetti from KAIST were partakers of the research. They have modeled a theory complimenting the results of Professor Ruoff’s research.
They folded into half A-5 sized sheets which were 400 nanometers thick around 12 times. One could hold a paper up to 7 times was an accepted fact till Britney Gallivan folded it 12 times. Dr. Bin Wang, an IBS Research Fellow along with Professor Ruoff, accomplished this task using a water-air based interface. They wrapped the polycarbonate film 12 times and gradually did the same to graphene coated film. Graphene is itself an active compound, and increasing its tensile strength and stiffness can make it the most robust element on earth.
Research indicated an increase of 73.5% in Young’s modulus, 73.2% in strength and 59.1% in toughness modulus of a typical folded polymer sheet with only a rise of 0.085% graphene content on it. While the same growth on folding the sheets were 24.2%, 25.4%, and 14.5% respectively. The value appears to below as we are talking of fragile layers of the cloth. Professor Pugno’s group from the University of Trento in Italy has rationalized the theory, stating that the folds so reinforce the end-product offering it higher strength and stiffness. It can sustain a more considerable bending force as compared to disconnected layers.
Professor Ryu and Dr. Stefano Signetti from KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology – supported this claim suggesting that the folded sheet was equivalent to 1024 layers of embedded graphene. Wrapping the cloth, not only offered higher mechanical reinforcement but also opened up a possibility of other potential polymers to be used similarly.