GRAPHENE AND ITS USEIN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Graphene, the Nobel Prizewinning materialin Physics by Andrei Gueim and Konstantin Novosiolov in2010for theirstudies inground-breakingexperiments regarding thetwo-dimensionalmaterial.This material came to theforefront due toits high potential,as it is a oneatom thick carbon substance that is capable of conducting electricity with greater efficiencyin mobile devices.
After 2010, its useexpandedto other industries and sectors, in addition to the technologyfield. These areas include architectureand engineering,as it is a resistantand flexible material applied to real constructions. Nowadays, it isup for debate in the professional communitywhether or not graphenewill surpass concrete or steel as the most resistant.
What Are the Characteristics of Graphene?
The defining characteristics for this material can be summarisedinto three large blocks: elevated resistance to traction and wear and tear, electricity conduction and its flexibility. These three characteristics are what make graphene an ideal addition toconcrete and cement.
In this sense, the product is able to improve all of the qualities involvedin the durabilityof concrete and ensures correct performance with the passing of time. Just as it improvesa factor as importantas resistance to carbonation, the additive graphene also increases the useful life of concretenotably. Allof these details directlywork tooptimise natural resources and reducecarbon dioxide emissionsinto the atmosphere resulting from the extraction, manipulation, production and transport of all of thenecessary raw materials.
The following listgoes into detail about the properties offered by the materialgraphene:
Electricity conductor: Graphene, surpasses the properties of materials such as copper or silicon and requires a lesseramount of electricity to transport energy. This makesgraphene capable of generating electric energy from the sun.
Strong:The strength of the material graphene is 200 times more than that of steel, making ita substance that is highly resistant to deterioration and capable of supporting elevated loads of weight.
Highflexibility:In addition to its other characteristics, thismaterial is also highly elastic, which makes itmouldable and applicable to awidevariety of uses. Graphenealsoincreases the flexibility of thefinal materialwhen it is added to something else,such as concrete or cement. In current uses, this characteristic is key for improvingthe response of different structures when faced withseismic movements.
Reaction to other substances:When added to other materials, graphene facilitates thecreation of other new materialsfrom the initial. This, in turn, also allows for thepossibility of increasing its useinother areas of construction.
What Are the Uses of Graphene in the Construction Industry?
A study carried out at UCAM (Catholic University of San Antonio in Murcia,Spain), demonstrates the efficiency of this material against concrete regarding its usein construction, arguing that its more immediate usecan be seen in elements that require greater durability in timesuch as pillars,tubes, roadways, concrete screens and dams.”For this reason, the use of graphene will modify the traditional process of construction with concrete materialswhen constructing buildings.
In general, among theusesof grapheneinthe construction industry,and in particular to improveenergy efficiency in buildings, thefollowing materials obtainedfrom using grapheneshould be taken into consideration:
Given that thisis a lighter and more efficient materialin relation to others, graphene is adapted to obtain solutions for saving energy in high technicalamounts through the use of aerogel.
It is possible to use sheets of 5 mm in thickness of graphene aerogel, a thickness less than that of traditional insulationwhich makes it possible to save space and provides an improvement for energy efficiency. This is not only for constructing buildings but also for making solar panels. It is also a material that is flexible and resistantto mechanical operationsand easily affordable to install.
Double Tubed Solar Panels
Graphene can also be applied to the creation of double tubed solar panelswith the aimof insulating the connection between the panel itself and the corresponding tank for storing water.
Graphene Aerogel Solar Panels
For the production of photovoltaic solar panels with cells based on graphene aerogel, this applicationis especially useful on account ofits high performance when absorbing energy from sunlight as a photosensitive material. In this way, it makes it easierto set up and install the panelsto increase bothits useful life and its efficiency as well as reducing costs for businesses.
Connection Cables for Solar Panels
Graphene is also beneficial for creating connection cables in high efficiencysolar panels, conductivity for aerogel, which becomes a highly useful cable in the installation of solar panels.
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