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‘Wonder material’ that is as flexible as tin foil but becomes harder than a diamond when it’s hit by a bullet could lead to ultra-light body armour

Daily Mail

A wonder material as flexible as tinfoil but hard enough to stop a speeding bullet has been created in the lab.

Diamene is made using two layers of graphene, the world’s first two-dimensional material which is just one atom thick, a million times thinner than human hair.

Such a substance could be used for anything from water-resistant protective coatings to ultra-light bulletproof armour.  

A wonder material as flexible as tinfoil but hard enough to stop a speeding bullet has been created in the lab. Diamene is made using two layers of graphene, the world's first two-dimensional material which is just one atom thick, a million times thinner than human hair 

A study led by the City University of New York’ (CUNY)  Advanced Science Research Center revealed how placing one piece of graphene on top of another at room temperature produced a diamond-like material.

Diamene is soft and flexible until it is put under pressure, when it becomes extremely rigid.

That means, if it was shot by a bullet, it would stop it passing through.

The properties of the material were first dreamt up in computer simulations, created as part of the study.

Experts then used an atomic force microscope to apply pressure to a two layer thick graphene matrix to test out their theory, which the technique confirmed.

The diamond-like properties were only found to emerge with exactly two layers, the team says.

In a statement on the CUNY website, lead researcher and physics professor Elisa Riedo said: ‘This is the thinnest film with the stiffness and hardness of diamond ever created.

‘Previously, when we tested graphite or a single atomic layer of graphene, we would apply pressure and feel a very soft film.

‘But when the graphite film was exactly two-layers thick, all of a sudden we realized that the material under pressure was becoming extremely hard and as stiff, or stiffer, than bulk diamond.’

Graphene, which comes from graphite, has been viewed as a miracle material after it was initially discovered in 2004 by researchers at The University of Manchester, Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov.

The discovery won the pair the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.

Since then the material has been proposed for use in renewable energy and night vision goggles.

Graphene is a single atomic layer of carbon atoms bound in a hexagonal network.

The diamond-like properties were only found to emerge with exactly two layers of grapene. This image shows a 3D illustration of a graphene molecular grid, whose atoms connect in a hexagonal crystal lattice

It not only promises to revolutionize semiconductor, sensor, and display technology, but could also lead to breakthroughs in fundamental quantum physics research.

It is often depicted as an atomic-scale chicken wire made of carbon atoms and their bonds.

Scientists believe it could one day be used to make transparent conducting materials, biomedical sensors and even extremely light, yet strong, aircraft of the future.

Similar to another important nanomaterial, carbon nanotubes, graphene is incredibly strong – around 200 times stronger than structural steel.

Angelo Bongiorno, another member of the CUNY research team, added: ‘Graphite and diamonds are both made entirely of carbon, but the atoms are arranged differently in each material, giving them distinct properties such as hardness, flexibility and electrical conduction.

‘Our new technique allows us to manipulate graphite so that it can take on the beneficial properties of a diamond under specific conditions.’

The full findings of the study were published in the Naure journal Nanotechnology .

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5205585/Researchers-create-new-diamond-like-graphene-material.html#ixzz522EZYvIA
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9 Responses to ‘Wonder material’ that is as flexible as tin foil but becomes harder than a diamond when it’s hit by a bullet could lead to ultra-light body armour

  1. BMF says:

    Since the development of this sort of armor will mean the obsolescence of the 2nd Amendment, I’m glad that there’s reason to be skeptical of the claims. It has been reported in other publications that as strong as graphene may be, it is also brittle due to defects that inherently arise on a macroscopic scale. It may end up being analogous to carbon fiber, the great strength of which doesn’t make it useful for ballistic armor — it shatters when struck forcefully enough. Even a diamond will shatter when struck with a plain old hammer.

  2. Charles Walker says:

    Will make good cone shaped hats. Tin foil like.

  3. Peter says:

    Sounds like the foil found after the alien spacecraft crash in Roswell New Mexico 1947. Imagine the successful experiments in space starting maybe only 50 miles up with no gravity coming back down to Earth with new compositions and properties that could never be formed under gravity. The International Space Station is only 200 miles up…Any living biological / DNA / plant or tissue gets all messed up because of radiation going higher without extreme protection. I’ll stop there some of you may know where I’m going with this comment.

  4. Ed Teach says:

    Sounds cool I guess.
    Lost me at
    “It would…”

  5. Jolly Roger says:

    Seems a bit strange to me that this miracle material was discovered in 2004, and we’re only hearing about it in 2017.

    If it lived up to half the claims made in this article, the investment capital would have been pouring in like a tidal wave.

  6. flee says:

    Oh…man…

    I can’t believe the tin foil hat I could make out of that.

    In fact …I’m going to start a new business.

    TinFoilHat.com

    Custom tin foils hats with camo patterns.

    Let’s see …I gotta think of a corporate slogan.

    Tin foil hats….

    “Using Paranoia To Make a Better World”.

  7. MrKelly says:

    Reminds me of how you can run over liquid corn starch but not walk over it.

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