The scientists from the Rice University developed the rebar graphene with integrated carbon nanotube which is resistant to fractures and is by two times tougher than pristine graphene. The graphene is a sheet of carbon, only one-atom-thick, and, on a 2D scale, this material is more resistant than steel. However, due to the fact this material is thin, it is subject to tearing and ripping.
Rebar graphene is reinforced with integrated carbon nanotubes
The rebar graphene is the analog to the traditional reinforcement bars (rebar) in concrete, only that it’s on a nanoscale. In concrete, reinforcement bars are made of steel and have the purpose of boosting the material’s durability and strength.
On the other hand, the rebar graphene developed by the researchers at the Rice University is reinforced with integrated carbon nanotubes.
In a new report released in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano, the researchers presented the results of the rebar graphene stress-tests. Also, the scientists reported they found that the integrated carbon nanotubes bridged the crack in the material that would increase in regular graphene material.
The experiments revealed that the carbon nanotubes, implemented within the graphene material, help the material remain solid and reduce the cracks.
Carbon nanotubes in rebar graphene postpone the material’s degradation
During the test simulations, the carbon nanotubes reinforcement bars do not prevent rebar graphene from ultimate failing but delaying the process by bridging the cracks and prolonging the graphene’s conductivity.
“The simulations are important because they let us see the process on a time scale that isn’t available to us with microscopy techniques, which only give us snapshots,” explained Jun Lou from the Rice University.
“The Brown University team [who experimented with the rebar graphene], really helped us understand what’s happening behind the numbers,” Lou added.
Jon Lou hopes the new study would pave the way towards real-world 2D applications for graphene.