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Does graphene actually remain strong for macroworld engineering?

  1. Jan 30, 2013 #1
    I heard that people envision strong structural materials made out of graphene, but I heard it may weaken when being stack in layers. Is graphene viable for macroworld structural engineering or is it only suitable for electronics and similar applications?
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  3. Jan 31, 2013 #2
    I know CNTs have excellent material strength when they are bunched together. I dont know what will happen for graphene. Will it not be just graphite, if bunched together?
  4. Jan 31, 2013 #3
    I have found some papers talking of very controlled, low cost and efficient stacking of graphene on wafers of SiC (Silicon Carbide) but I'm not sure I'm proficient in that discipline to understand if that means they keep their properties or not.

    I heard that it loses physical properties when stacked though I don't know if it's confirmed.

    I doubt it's exactly like graphite though since that's basically a collection of debris of graphene and not perfect monolayers stack on top of each other. But who knows, it may in principle work similarly in macro sizes.
  5. Jan 31, 2013 #4


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    I seriously doubt you could build a macroscopic stucture out of graphene. However, graphene has a extremely high Young's modulus meaning it is potentially a good material for e.g. MEMS/NEMS resonators; and other microscopic applications.
  6. Jan 31, 2013 #5
    The graphite is not very strong because the bounds between the graphene sheets on top of each other are very weak. If you are able to make just a single graphene sheet with macroscopic size it would still be strong.You could stack many graphene layers together and they would break apart very easily but the individual graphene sheets would still be strong.
    I am not sure about that.
  7. Jan 31, 2013 #6
    Yes, but would they remain high in tensile strength (even if perhaps fragile in compression or with axial forces), or is it an inherent property of the multilayer form of the material that it becomes weaker? i.e. is it mechanically problematic, or do the fundamental physics of it at the atomic level weaken it?
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