08
Jul

GRAPHENE IN THE MILITARY: STRONG, FLEXIBLE MATERIAL SHOWS PROMISE

Graphene is among the most important technological advances in the last 18 years. It is poised to significantly impact the way that it is that the U.S. Army fights in multidomain combat.

The graphene material is an material that has electronic properties comparable to diamond, where carbon atoms are laid out in layers, each one thick, over each one.

The Army could reap three distinct advantages from graphene. The first is that graphene is able to significantly increase body armor. Additionally, graphene could dramatically enhance the ability of the Army to produce energy. The third, graphene filters could provide the Army with more than its no. one natural resource: water.

Graphene was first discovered from the University of Manchester in the U.K. in 2004 by professors and physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov who were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics for their research into graphene. Graphene is a kind of carbon, which is formed out of graphite. Graphite is an organic element composed of graphene sheets that are placed over each other. It is also found in pencils “lead” and the lubricants are some examples of products that contain graphite.Pfc. Kimberly Espinoza with the 82nd Airborne Division modifies the second generation Modular Scalable Vest at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (Credit: U.S. Army/Jason Amadi)

Graphene is an asymmetrical material that is, that it is composed of two parts, one for length and the other for width. Graphene sheets comprise carbon atoms, which are placed in a honeycomb like structure and a hexagonal pattern that repeats on a flat plane. Graphene layers are bonded to carbon molecules by covalent bonds. Covalent bonds connect atoms to each other. They’re like wires because they connect both negative and positive charges of an atom.

Graphene is easy to create at home using an eraser and tape. Geim and Konstantin first removed graphene from lead pencils. In an October, 2010 BBC News article, “How the sticky tape trick earned them the Nobel Prize,” Geim explained the process: “You put [sticky tapeon mica or graphite and then peel off the top layer off. There are graphite flakes which fall off of the tape. Then , you divide the tape, attach it to the flakes , then cut them in half again. Repeat this procedure at least 10 or 20 times. Each time the flakes break into smaller and smaller flakes.”

Effect upon the Army

The graphene industry has many possibilities for technological innovation in the Army. It can impact the Army across three different areas.

  • Body armor. Graphene is extremely durable and stronger than steel and can also hold energy and is a suitable choice for body armors to be used in the military.
  • Power generation. Graphene could help batteries in radios and other electronic devices which require quick charging or replacement. It can also aid in producing energy.
  • Purification of water. Graphene reacts strongly with water, which opens the possibility of water filtration systems.

Let’s look at the three areas of potential in order:

Body Armor

Graphene inside body armor offers an exceptional degree of protection. Graphene is able to produce energy quickly and conduct electricity. It also resists heat. It is able to endure 10 times more impact than steel and block radio waves. The advantages of graphene’s strength is what makes it the Army’s next significant technological breakthrough in defense that will change the way soldiers combat.

Graphene can store energy. It is suitable for body armor because of its strength and its flexibility. Army protective body armor usually composed of layer upon layer of Kevlar. Kevlar is a sturdy material which graphene can replace since it has a greater tensile strength. Graphene resists being crushed or pulled apart. It also has a very high elasticity, meaning that graphene is not permanently deformed when bent or stretched.

The body armor made of graphene will be more efficient than the existing Army bodies. It distributes kinetic energy more evenly, and can store energy that can be let out in a more controlled manner to reduce the damage that comes from the impact.A paratrooper from the 173rd Airborne Brigade uses a radio during a live-fire drill in Slovenia. (Credit: U.S. Army/Paolo Bovo)

Power Generation

The Army requires a new method to recharge and charge its devices swiftly. Graphene can recharge Army devices since it’s a supercapacitor, also known as a capacity device with a high power that can store electric energy within the form of an electrical field. Furthermore, graphene discharges electric charges quickly, meaning it is able to recharge electronic devices within minutes.

This permits graphene to transfer heat and electricity. Graphene is a better conductor of heat than copperwhich can be the material used to make Army heat exchangers. Graphene can replace copper due to its lighter weight. Graphene is very thin, and flexible. This allows it to be inserted into small space. The ability of graphene to store energy means that it could be utilized as a battery component in order to recharge electronic devices, radios, and other Army equipment.

Purification of Water Purification

The Army faces an issue with water purification. The water purification equipment it currently has isn’t reliable, in addition to other problems. Graphene will assist the Army to develop a better water purification system. This will create an efficient and mobile asset that will benefit the Army. Graphene filters are more efficient and more efficient. They can be made at a lower price and consume less power than existing filtering systems.

Graphene is also used as a water filter in purification systems. It is extremely reactive with water, so it’s great at removing molecular pollutants. Graphene transmits electric current. Its carbon atoms are placed in a honeycomb-like arrangement It can hold lots of electrons that can traverse through the honeycomb structure.An U.S. Army Reserve water purification specialist examines lake the levels of chlorine at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, during an exercise. (Credit: U.S. Army Reserve/Spc.Blake Essex)

Graphene sponges were developed to absorb water. They are superhydrophobic. This means that they favor water molecules. This makes it possible for graphene sponges to be utilized to purify water and other purposes. Graphene sponges also are ideal for electronic devices since they can absorb liquids without harming them.

In the Battlefield

Graphene can be molded into a variety of shapes, elastic and stronger than any other material we’ve seen. Its mixture of strength and lightweight weight will enable the Army to transport equipment weighing less than what it is now and still provide exactly the same protection.

A great analogy for graphene or multidomain functions is to consider an ordinary box of raisins. The raisins are enclosed inside a cardboard box which is wrapped with cellophane. This is similar to multidomain operations as multiple domains are combined, and no leaks must be allowed to escape. These properties are crucial to the raisins analogy to graphene as well as multidomain operation. If any information leaks from one domain it could cause harm to other domains.

The Army’s aim is to create the synergy of domains. Graphene offers a range of properties which will assist the Army to achieve this objective by improving communications between domains, increasing the quality of water and accessibility to water, as well as providing the Army to fit everything into an area that is simple to move. This expands the operational range and improves the freedom of action and endurance when executing unified land-based operations and exchanges time for space. time.