Light-weight 3D graphene assembly models can be used in a variety of engineering applications where porous, high strength, low density materials are of use. Furthermore, the combination of computational modeling and 3D printing technology used in this invention can be applied to other areas of engineering research, such as bridge construction or filtration systems.
The strength of 3D graphene assemblies has been measured in many different experiments by many different labs. The results all indicate that these assemblies have several magnitudes lower tensile strength than what would be predicted by conventional scaling laws. Experimental and computational models that can more accurately predict the strength of these assemblies would not only be able to identify the optimal types of material architecture in graphene, but could also be used to model 3D assemblies comprised of other materials.
Graphene is one of the stiffest and strongest materials. By fine tuning the chemical synthesis process, especially the reacting pressure and temperature, many 3D porous graphene structures with different material architectures and densities can be created. These structures’ material properties were characterized by physical experiments to derive new scaling laws that can be used to identify material properties that would lead to the strongest and lightest graphene structures. Variables such as atom connectivity and annealing conditions were identified as crucial factors in creating stronger graphene. Adjusting these values, as well as tuning the surface chemistry of graphene and combining graphene with polymers, can lead to the creation of stronger and lighter materials. In addition, the combination of a theoretical model and computational simulations provides a powerful tool to explore such opportunities for carbon material designs. Finally, the porous atomic geometries that yield the highest strengths from these tests and simulations can be adapted to other areas of engineering, such as large-scale structural materials like concrete, or materials used in filtration system.
Ability to create and
test a variety of 3D models of graphene
Theoretical models to simulate
the mechanical response of different materials under loading
Accurate predictions of strength
based on material architecture
Adaptability of modeling
paradigm to large-scale applications such as construction and filtration