Sydney, Australia – A new type of high-tech composite may one day be used as an automotive material, supplying steel-like strength at a fraction of the weight.

Scientists at Australia’s University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have reported “remarkable results” in developing the new, paper-thin composite material, which is based on graphite. The researchers said that the new material, graphene paper, has the potential for use in automotive, aviation, electrical and optical industries.

The researchers successfully milled raw graphite by purifying and filtering it with chemicals to reshape and reform it, and then processed it into paper-thin sheets. The sheets have exceptional thermal, electrical and mechanical properties.

Compared to steel, the prepared graphene paper is six times lighter, has five to six times lower density, is twice as hard, has ten times higher tensile strength, and 13 times higher bending rigidity. The researchers said that the product can be recycled and is eco-friendly, sustainable and cost-effective.

The findings have been published in the current edition of the Journal of Applied Physics.

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