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Analysis of graphene's progress and future potential

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The ground-breaking demonstration of the electric field effect in graphene reported more than a decade ago prompted the strong push towards the commercialization of graphene as evidenced by a wealth of graphene research, patents and appli-cations. Graphene flake production capability has reached thousands of tonnes per year, while continuous graphene sheets of tens of metres in length have become available. Various graphene technologies developed in laboratories have now trans-formed into commercial products, with the very first demonstrations in sports goods, automotive coatings, conductive inks and touch screens, to name a few. Although challenges related to quality control in graphene materials remain to be addressed, the advancement in the understandings of graphene will propel the commercial success of graphene as a compelling technology. This Review discusses the progress towards commercialization of graphene for the past decade and future perspectives. 


...Additionally, GNPs [graphene fragments] are proposed to be the alternative filling agent in composite materials to replace conventional filler materials such as carbon black and carbon fibres21. The specifications of graphene are outstanding owing to its high surface area, tensile strength, ther-mal and electrical conductivity. Mixing a small amount of GNPs in the matrix of polymers, metals or ceramics can achieve significant enhancement in the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of the composites. As an example, 0.5 wt.% of GNPs in epoxy resin achieves fracture toughness enhancement by 40%57. Electrical con-ductivity is enhanced by 8 orders of magnitude from 10–8 S m–1 to  1 S m–1 (ref. 58), and thermal conductivity is enhanced by 167 times to ~33 W m–1 K–1 with GNP filler59,60. Commercial applications under development include light-weight sports goods, electromagnetic shields for aircraft, flame retardant plastics and 3D printing fila-ments and inks promising for printed flexible electronics (Fig. 3e).  For example, tennis racquets with a graphene-based composite were first commercialized (Table 1)61. Following this success, ski equip-ment, bicycles, helmets and shoes with graphene reinforcement are in production (Table 1). The chemical inertness and the special lay-ered structure of graphene have also been utilized for anti-corrosion purposes62. The incorporation of GNPs into coatings creates a cor-rugated path for the permeation of oxidants, delaying the oxidation process. Graphene-based coatings have been demonstrated to out-perform conventional zinc phosphate-based materials (Fig. 3g)63, and is commercially available (Table 1)


...To make graphene an industry-friendly material, significant efforts must be made in perfecting graphene as a basic building block at a much-reduced cost, including synthesis, storage and process-ing of graphene. Fortunately, we have seen a steady trend showing the steep slope of price reduction, for example, the price of GNP graphene decreases by an order of magnitude from US$250 kg–1 to US$20 kg–1 within four years after 2011




It's a long, thorough article from a credible source. Much as aluminum and plastic revolutionized daily life and became ubiquitous, so might graphene. 

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