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Innovators showcase graphene-enhanced products

A two-day event at the University of Manchester in December showcased the practical applications of 2D ‘wonder material’ graphene on products ranging from running shoes to printed electronics.

A two-day event at the University of Manchester in December showcased the practical applications of 2D ‘wonder material’ graphene on products ranging from running shoes to printed electronics.

Over 100 delegates attended the event to learn about the hottest topics in the fast-evolving field of graphene.

First discovered at the University of Manchester in 2004, graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms that is many times stronger than steel yet incredibly lightweight and flexible, with highly efficient electrical and thermal conductive properties.

Exhibitors at the event included sports brand inov-8, which has used graphene to make stronger and harder wearing running shoes; Lifesaver, a manufacturer of reusable water filtration systems; and the BAC Mono R, the world’s first production car to use graphene-enhanced carbon fibre in each body panel.

Additional prototypes and new products showcased included hydrogels for crop production, lightweight suitcases and graphene-enhanced door mats made from recycled tyres.

James Baker, CEO at Graphene@Manchester, said:

“We are now seeing rapid developments and an increasing change of pace over the last year, dramatically changing the graphene landscape. More products are entering the market using graphene and we’re starting to see real-world benefits living up to the early excitement of just a few years ago.

“With the National Graphene Institute and GEIC [Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre], our infrastructure is designed to work in collaboration with industry partners to create, test and optimise new concepts for delivery to market.”

Other commercial graphene breakthroughs developed in Manchester in recent years include environmentally-friendly alternatives to synthetic composites, more durable rubbers and elastomers, super-efficient lightbulbs, high-performance protective paints, and ‘thermoelectric’ materials that convert heat into electricity.

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Over 100 delegates attended the event to see practical applications of graphene on products including running shoes and printed electronics. Credit: University of Manchester

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