Move over steel, there is a new material in town. An amazing construction material that is growing in popularity is 3D Graphene. Not only is graphene around ten times stronger than steel, it is also very lightweight, with only 5% of the density of steel. This new material was fabricated in a lab using high-resolution, multi-material 3D printers. Prior to the break-through of the creation of the 3D graphene, researches had found that 2D graphene was one of the strongest known materials but due to the thinness of it, it was not suitable for use in large structures.
By compressing small graphene flakes via heat and pressure a new ‘coral-shaped’ structure emerged that produces a super strong, large surface area structure. This new development can be used in building large structures whilst being more fuel-efficient for transport vehicles, due to its lightness. Whilst it is incredibly strong it is also porous which makes it ideal for large-scale concrete structures with significantly reduced weight.
In the coming years, 3D graphene will help to build stronger, lighter and greener infrastructures.