Concretene is a new type of concrete that contains graphene, a material that is incredibly strong and lightweight. According to the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Futures program, Concretene can be used in the same way as standard concrete, meaning no new equipment or training is needed in the batching or laying process. The improved binding means less material is required, making the process greener and cheaper, with cost savings passed directly to the client. 
Concretene has great potential to address the construction industry’s need to lower emissions, by reducing the amount of concrete required in construction projects by as much as 30%. It also offers efficiency savings by slashing drying time. Pours of Concretene to date have achieved the equivalent of 28-day strength in just 12 hours. 
It is worth noting that concrete has been used for thousands of years, while graphene was first discovered in 2004. However, the combination of these two materials is a recent development. 
March 2023 – Nationwide Engineering Research and Development (Nerd) has announced strategic partnerships with Black Swan Graphene and Arup for the development of Concretene, a graphene-enhanced admixture for concrete.
Nationwide Engineering Research & Development (NERD) is a standalone R&D firm spun out from UK construction group Nationwide Engineering in 2022 by co-founders and award-winning chartered civil engineers Rob Hibberd and Alex McDermott in order to focus on bringing Concretene, and ultimately a further suite of sustainable building technologies, to market. In December 2022, NERD announced a fundraise of £8,000,000 from LocalGlobe – EMEA’s most successful investor in unicorns at SEED stage1 – for work towards full commercialisation of the technology. These funds have allowed NERD to take Tier 1 membership of The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, a £60m state-of-the-art facility dedicated to prototyping nanomaterial technologies. NERD is also committing to a multi-million-pound sponsorship of a Chair of Construction Materials to ensure the University – and the collaboration on Concretene – remains at the forefront of understanding in this highly complex area of advanced material science.
March 2022 – Graphene Flagship partner Versarien, UK, has announced the launch of its 3D-printed lifestyle pods, designed with sustainability and innovation at the core. Versarien specialises in advanced engineering materials, and provides graphene-enhanced admixture, trademarked as Cementene™.
March 2023 – Graphene innovator Versarien has parted company with its CEO, after Neill Ricketts has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the company… Last month, the Forest of Dean-based materials engineering group, warned investors that economic conditions had delayed the commercialisation of its products.
March 2023 – Neill Ricketts – Linkedin Account reposted the following article on Fake Graphene. Versarien are only one of 5 Verified Graphene Producers according to the Graphene Council.
FAKE GRAPHENE: LET THE BUYER BEWARE!
It is concerning that some manufacturers are mislabeling black powders as graphene and selling them for a premium price when they actually comprise primarily cheap graphite. Industry and researchers risk wasting time and money because of low-quality graphite powder sold as high-quality graphene. Also concerning are the growing number of companies manufacturing nanoplatelets and marketing these as graphene.
In a study published in Advanced Materials, researchers from the National University of Singapore generated a systematic test protocol based on well-known methodologies for evaluating graphene from 60 different manufacturers from the Americas, Asia and Europe. Surprisingly, the investigation indicated that the majority of these companies were selling graphite microplatelets. The investigation indicated that less than 10% of the material contained graphene, and none of the examined products had more than 50% graphene. The study also noted that the majority of graphene samples on the market are actually GO and rGO.