A groundbreaking new discovery about graphene sheets that could provide bulletproof armor brings more attention to this incredible material.
As we reported recently, the entire scientific community is atwitter about an amazing discovery by scientists that the combination of two graphene layers could create a lightweight material that is bulletproof, which could change warfare as we know it. But what most people don’t realize are the many applications of this incredible material known as graphene, and how it could affect our everyday lives in the coming years or decades.
Researchers from the City University of New York’s Advanced Science Research Center discovered that by combining no more than two layers of graphene, they would be able to create an ultra-thin material that, when it is struck by a fast-moving projectile like a bullet, it suddenly hardens and protects the wearer.
The question most people have is, what is graphene. Graphene is a sheet of a single layer of carbon atoms that are arranged in hexagonal fashion. Scientists have discovered that graphene has some extremely unusual properties, as it is the strongest material that has ever been tested and it very efficiently conducts heat and electricity. It was first observed by an electron microscope back in 1962, but it wasn’t until 2004 that scientists were able to isolate and characterize graphene.
Scientists believe it could be used to create solar cells, light-emitting diodes (LED), touch panels, or even phones. Researchers think that it would be possible to create graphene supercapacitors that would be able to replace electrolytic batteries as an energy storage device. And the auto industry is even experimenting with making cars out of this material.
The graphene market remains small, but it is emerging. The global market for graphine was $9 million in 2012, but as more breakthroughs like the most recent one see the light of day, we could see graphene completely change our everyday lives.