From seawater sieves to tennis rackets : 10 uses for graphene the strongest material on earth

Lian Parsons
Andy Murray - HEAD Launch
Andy Murray has seen the use of graphene first-hand in tennis rackets (Source: Getty)

Graphene is a super thin sheet of carbon atoms organised in a hexagonal lattice, about 200 times stronger and six times more flexible than steel and can be used in seemingly endless ways.

The most recent of those ways is a graphene-based sieve developed by scientists at the University of Manchester that can filter salt out of seawater. This filtration system could be low energy step in combating water scarcity.

Read more: This new graphene discovery could transform computers

Though the technology is still fairly new, here are 10 more ways graphene could be used in everyday (and not-so-everyday) objects:

1. Batteries

Graphene could increase the lifespan of the basic lithium ion battery. Devices could be charged more quickly and hold more power for longer.

2. Supercapacitors

Upgrading to graphene supercapacitors could provide large amounts of power, but at lower energy usage. They could also reduce the weight of cars and planes.

3. Touchscreens

Never worry about cracking your phone screen again.

4. Tennis rackets

Graphene racquets absorb more shock due to faster vibration reduction after the impact from the ball.

5. Light bulbs

Developed by Manchester-based Graphene Lighting, the light bulbs use about 10 per cent less energy than standard bulbs, last longer, uses more sustainable components and cost less to manufacture.

6. Bendable phones

Because graphene is so thin and light, it is also flexible. The first wearable smartphone was released last year.

7. Bicycle tyres

Vittoria, a bicycle tyre manufacturing company, released graphene-laced tyres last year. They are more durable, more resistant to punctures and have more increased traction on turns.

8. Rust-resistant paint

When combined with paint, the paint forms a layer of graphene that then protects from deterioration.

9. Power storage

In the future, graphene could be used in grid applications in storing wind and solar power.

10. Food storage

Food packaging made of graphene could help food last longer by stopping the transfer of water and oxygen.

Read more: This is what happens if you mix diamonds and graphene

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