Graphene rebar could compete with the steel industry within 10 years, according to Joel Barker.
“We’ll start to see this kind of material in the next couple of years, but within 10 years the choice between steel and carbon materials will be pretty equal,” Barker said in an interview. “All of a sudden you’ve got a car that weighs 500 pounds instead of 3000 pounds. Imagine an airplane. You’ll have to tie the plane down when it’s parked because of the wind.”
Graphene foam could eventually be used as a substitute for steel rebar within concrete, allowing for lighter, more stable buildings.
“They’re mixing the carbon nanotubes with the graphene, and they’ve created a material that is 10 times stronger than steel,” he said. “Once it’s been put into a mold and shaped, it’s supported three thousand times it’s own weight, before springing back out to it’s original height.”
“It’s a new territory of materials, that we’re just beginning to play with. We’re like the people who started to make iron years ago, saying ‘wow, look at this stuff,” Barker added.
Listen to the full interview with Small Business Advocate here.