Graphene sees explosive demand in a variety of industries

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "The Global Market for Graphene to 2020" report to their offering.

Graphene has moved swiftly from the research laboratory to the marketplace, driven by demand from markets where advanced materials are required. These include the aerospace, automotive, coatings, electronics, energy storage, coatings and paints, communications, sensor, solar, oil, and lubricant sectors.

The exceptional electron and thermal transport, mechanical properties, barrier properties and high specific surface area of graphene and combinations thereof make it a potentially disruptive technology across a raft of industries. The European Union is funding a 10-year, 1.35 billion euro coordination action on graphene. South Korea is spending $350 million on commercialization initiatives and the United Kingdom is investing £50million in a commercialization hub. Applications are coming onto the market for polymer composites and EMI shielding coatings. Graphene-based conducting inks are also finding their way into smart cards and radio-frequency identification tags.

Many of the current and potential applications of carbon nanotubes may be taken by graphene as it displays enhanced properties but with greater ease of production and handling. In this regard, carbon nanotubes may be viewed as a stalking horse for commercial applications of graphene. However, in an interesting development, using carbon nanotubes and graphene in combination shows great promise, allowing for greater consistency and higher concentrations of these materials in the end product.

Most graphene producers currently produce graphene nanoplatelets and graphene oxide. Within the last year graphene producers have increased production capabilities considerably. XG Sciences, Angstron Materials and Vorbeck have increased, or are planning to increase, their production capacities twenty-fold.

Producers are generally small, start-up companies who have witnessed an explosion in demand for their materials from a variety of industries. Companies such as IBM and Samsung are pursuing applications for graphene in electronics and optics, which are likely only to be realized in the medium to long-term. Most near-term demand is for composites and coatings for application in the automotive, plastics, coatings, construction, metals, batteries, aerospace and energy markets.

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