Adding graphene to thin rubber films can make them stronger and stretchier, University of Manchester researchers have shown.
Prof Robert J Young, FREng, FRS
Professor of Polymer Science and Technology
All aspects of the relationships between structure and mechanical properties of polymers and composites.
Professor Young is interested in all aspects of the relationship between the structure and mechanical of polymers and composites. He has recently focussed his attention upon structure/property relations in graphene and chemically-modified graphene for use in high-performance polymer-based nanocomposites.
His group has demonstrated through the use of a Raman spectroscopy that it is possible to attain significant reinforcement of a polymer by a graphene monolayer consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms. Moreover they have shown that this reinforcement can be modelled using conventional continuum mechanics.
They have also compared the behaviour of monolayer graphene with two-, three- and many-layer graphene and developed a protocol to optimise the level of reinforcement by these different forms of graphene. These findings will have profound implications for our understanding of the design of graphene nanocomposites for high-performance applications such as in light-weight structures for transport and aerospace.