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Graphene – from the humble pencil to the strongest material in the universe?


They’re calling Graphene the strongest material in the universe, and it’s hard to argue with the figures. It can be made into a carbon sheet one atom thick, conducts electricity 100 times faster than silicon and it’s stronger than diamond. Oh and it’s flexible enough to wrapped up in a roll. But before we all run around cheering, as with all new materials, it’s going to take time – lots of time – to perfect the manufacturing process. The good news is that lots of people 

are working on the issues. Good luck we say!

  Graphite, the lead in a pencil, is made of stacks of graphene layers. Although each individual layer is tough, the bonds between them are weak, so they slip off easily and leave a dark mark when you write. Potential graphene applications include touch screens, solar cells, energy storage devices, cell phones and, eventually, high-speed computer chips.


  • I thought the outer crust of neutron stars were the strongest material in the universe. Neutron stars are generally considered to be the densest things in the universe. Graphene is the strongest material that we know of that we can can actually make and use, simply because we don't know how to make or use the materials that make up the outer crusts of neutron stars. At least not yet?

    • I may be wrong here, but the gravity of the star keeps the neutrons in that highly compressed state. If you remove material from a neutron stars, which is probably impossible, when the material is away from the gravity of the star it loses its super-dense properties and the neutrons revert to their normal ways. However I may be wrong.

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