The National Graphene Institute


The National Graphene Institute

Earlier this month we were awarded the contract to supply the Variable Air Volume Regulators to The National Graphene Institute. We were delighted to be part of such an exciting project. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the groundbreaking discovery in Manchester in 2002, here's a little background information.

Graphene is made of a single layer of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons. Graphene is one million times thinner than paper; so thin that it is actually considered two dimensional.
Carbon is an incredibly versatile element. Depending on how atoms are arranged, it can produce hard diamonds or soft graphite. Graphene’s flat honeycomb pattern grants it many unusual characteristics, including the status of strongest material in the world. Columbia University mechanical engineering professor James Hone once said it is “so strong it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap,” according to the university.

In 2002, University of Manchester researcher Andre Geim became interested in graphene and challenged a PhD student to polish a hunk of graphite to as few layers as possible. The student was able to reach 1,000 layers, but could not hit Geim’s goal of 10 to 100 layers. Geim tried a different approach: tape. He applied it to graphite and peeled it away to create flakes of layered graphene. More tape peels created thinner and thinner layers, until he had a piece of graphene 10 layers thick.