Graphene can make rubber more rubbery say scientists

  • 20 May 2016
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What is graphene and why is it useful?

Graphene is known as a wonder material. It's 300 times stronger than steel and harder than diamonds. Now it's been discovered that it can make rubber more rubbery.

Researchers at Manchester University tested two kinds of rubbery materials - natural rubber and a man-made rubber. They added graphene of different kinds, amounts and size.

They found that adding a very small amount of graphene to rubber films can increase both its strength and stretchiness by up to 50%.

It's exciting because researchers think it could eventually be used to make better gloves, sportswear, medical devices in future.

Graphene was first made in 2004 at the University of Manchester. Scientists found their sticky tape was pulling tiny graphene crystals off a lump of graphite.

Graphene crystals are so small, you need a lot of them to make things, but it's thought in future it could also be used to build strong plane wings, electronic paper and even bendy smartphones.

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