(BPT) - Can you name the world's strongest material? If you guessed diamond or steel, you'd be wrong. Graphene — a basic building block of graphite, the material commonly found in pencils — is a lightweight, flexible and incredibly strong material used in various industries and has the potential for even more applications. Read on to learn five surprising facts about the world's strongest material.
1. Nobel Prize-winning
While the use of graphene is fairly recent, it's not completely unknown to the scientific community. For over a century, scientists have studied the substance's atomic structure and examined how to extract and use it.
However, it wasn't until 2004 when scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester finally isolated graphene. The pair won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their revolutionary discovery. More importantly, their work has opened up a world of possibilities for the potential uses of graphene.
2. Harder and stronger than the rest
Graphene is incredibly tough. In fact, it's harder than diamonds and 200 times stronger than steel. To pierce a single sheet of graphene as thick as plastic wrap, you'd need the weight of a car balanced on top of a pencil! It's because of this strength that graphene has been used to make stronger aircraft wings and durable body armor.
3. Industry-leading material
The potential application of graphene is only limited by human creativity. Currently, the substance is used in the aerospace, aviation, military, professional sports and electric vehicle industries.
More recently, graphene has entered the commercial space, and many businesses are finding ways to incorporate this innovative material into their products. For example, ZAGG uses graphene to create incredibly tough yet sleek phone cases. By integrating graphene into their products, ZAGG can deliver the same drop protection as bulkier cases in a much slimmer design, proving that bulky doesn’t equal protective.
4. Incredibly conductive
Graphene isn't just strong. It's also one of the most electrically conductive human-made materials on earth. In fact, graphene is a million times more conductive than copper. Because of its high electrical conductivity, graphene has the potential to be used in medical devices, electronics and more!
5. Light and flexible
Graphene is incredibly light, and it's even more elastic than rubber. Because of these properties, it can provide the same protection as thicker materials and can be molded into just about anything. ZAGG’s graphene cases, including its Milan Snap, London Snap and Crystal Palace Snap cases, offer drop protection up to 15 feet in a slim, lightweight design that fits easily in your pocket and comfortably in your hand.
These are just a few of the many amazing properties of graphene. As technology advances and scientists continue to study and improve upon the substance, you'll likely see more products made from or incorporating graphene. The applications are endless, from the phone in your pocket to the International Space Station.