Scientists Devise Robust, Mega Tough Carbon Sheets at Low Temperature

Scientists devise robust, mega tough carbon sheets at low temperature, thanks to the international research team led by scientists at Beihang University in China and The University of Texas at Dallas. The team produced the sheet by chemically stitching together platelets of graphitic carbon, which is akin to the graphite found in the soft lead of a normal pencil.

The fabrication procedure ensued in a material whose mechanical properties surpass those of carbon fiber compounds that are presently being utilized in various commercial goods. Dr. Ray Baughman, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry at UT Dallas and director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid Nanotech Institute said that these sheets may ultimately substitute the big budgeted carbon fiber composites that find use in everything from aircraft and automobile bodies to windmill blades and sports equipment.

Present day carbons are more costly because they are manufactured at extremely high temperatures which can surpass 2,500 degrees Celsius. Dr. Qunfeng Cheng, professor of chemistry at Beihang University and a corresponding author said that in juxtaposition our procedure can make use of graphite that is inexpensively dug from the ground and processed at temperature below 45 degrees Celsius.

The hardiness of these sheets in all in plane directions equal that of manipulated carbon fiber composites, and they can assimilate much loftier mechanical energy before lacking than carbon fiber composites.

Graphite is made up of platelets derived from hoarded layers of graphene. Graphene is simply an individual layer of carbon atoms, exhibited in a pattern that resembles chicken wire mesh fence, where each hexagon in the mesh is formed by six carbon atoms.