Add concrete to the list of things graphene can improve. Scientists at the University of Exeter‘s Center for Graphene Science developed a new technique to incorporate graphene in concrete production with the help of nanoengineering technology — and the resulting material is not only over twice as strong as concretes we have today, but it “drastically reduced the carbon footprint of conventional concrete production methods.”
Is there anything graphene can’t do? It can boost both the strength and durability of concrete. The resulting University of Exeter composite material is four times as water resistant as existing concretes, and, according to professor Monica Craciun, “by including graphene we can reduce the amount of materials required to make concrete by around 50 percent — leading to a significant reduction of 446 kilograms per tonne of the carbon emissions.”
The research, published in late April in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, pioneers a novel, low cost technique that is, according to the university, compatible with requirements for modern, large-scale manufacturing. The composite material can be utilized right on building sites.