By making graphene affordable, China says it can now make the best aircraft and spacecraft in the world

Zhu demonstrates the movable furnace. (Photo: Jos Wassink)

Zhu demonstrates the movable furnace. (Photo: Jos Wassink)

China Aviation Daily says in its report that Shou-en Zhu, a Chinese PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, has designed and made a high-temperature oven to produce high-quality graphene, which will hopefully enable the mass production of graphene at low cost.

A Global Times report last May made description of graphene as follows:

Graphene is a material that most people are not familiar with but researchers in many countries are busy working on. It is a new material formally discovered in 2004, for which two British scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov became Nobel Physics Laureates in 2010. Its special characteristics make it possible for the production of transparent mobile phones as thin as a piece of paper, batteries able to be fully recharged in a minute, bullet-proof shirts and other science-fiction products.

For real military application, graphene is very thin and nearly transparent pure carbon one atom thick. It is remarkably strong for its very low weight, more than 100 times stronger than steel. This makes it the best materials for aircraft and spacecraft.

However, there is drawback: It is forbiddenly expensive, 15 times more expensive than gold.

Zhu’s invention now will enable popularisation of the use of graphene in making many “science-fiction products.”

Zhu said that he adopted the method of chemical vapour deposition of methane on a copper sheet to make graphene. It is a method tried by many others without success. Zhu has succeeded due to the precision of his equipment and the fine control of the process. He has applied for patent of his invention.

Global Times said that sources related to the Industrial Aviation Material Research Institute of China Aviation Industry Corporation revealed to its reporter on May 27, 2014 that they had obtained the technology for mass production of graphene film and powder and successfully used graphene to make an alloy of graphene and aluminum, the first such alloy in the world, with exceptional qualities for aircraft and spacecraft.

Zhu’s invention will enable China to make the best aircraft and spacecraft in the world.

Source: China Aviation Daily “Chinese PhD candidate’s design of high-temperature oven making it hopeful for mass production of graphene at low cost” and Global Times “Bare the mystery of China’s super new material that may lead to a revolution in aircrafts and spacecrafts” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the reports in Chinese)

 



Categories: Defence & Aerospace

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2 replies

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  1. By making graphene affordable, China says it can now make the best aircraft and spacecraft in the world | China Daily Mail | Perimeter/Asia-Pacific
  2. China claims to have the world’s first material for light-propelled spaceflight | China Daily Mail

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