Major Chinese Investment in Graphene Helps Develop Lighter Planes

A five-year collaborative research project will be executed by the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials (BIAM) and the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester.

The study will concentrate on composites with improved performance in the field of mechanical, electric conductive, and thermal conductive behavior. It will also focus on the compatibility of the matrix materials and graphene. This research has the potential to introduce the applications of graphene in varied components and materials in the aerospace sector. It will also help to improve the performance and save weight.

The research will also influence aircraft, high-speed trains, and industrial equipment, replacing the use of conventional materials.

The deal was announced at the opening of the European Science Open Forum in Manchester by Professor Robert Young, who heads the research project at The University of Manchester.

Professor Young, speaking at a session called ’Science and Aviation’, organized in partnership with Manchester Airport and Hainan Airlines, will outline how graphene could revolutionize the future of trains and planes.

The announcement was made in parallel to a senior delegation from Manchester – including a Nobel-prize winning scientist who was responsible for isolating graphene – being in Beijing in order to promote the city as a global destination for inward investment and tourism.

Graphene has become a part of the recently developed Chinese five-year plan, and the country is also beginning to develop improvements in its domestic civil aerospace industry and also enhance their expertise of materials.

This new project will go on until 2020, and it will include collaborative research on graphene projects, strengthening the exchange of personnel between Beijing and Manchester and the ties in graphene technology.

This collaborative effort is an extension of a project that started in 2015. This earlier project focused on developing graphene composites using metals including aluminum. This extended version of the project was based on the success of the partnership.

Several other UK companies, particularly in aerospace, are expected to become directly involved during the progress of the project.

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