In manufacturing self-lubricating components for the tool and die industry, the SelfLube Company uses graphite and graphene in their everyday business. Graphite, which has been used since ancient times, was always thought to be pretty well understood – but the reality is it has always been a strange substance. It is one of the few materials that doesn’t expand when heated or shrink when cooled (i.e., it has zero coefficient of linear expansion). It isn’t a metal, but it conducts electricity like a metal. And, when reduced to a single layer, Graphene, the name given to a single sheet of graphite, turns out to be the strongest material known – 100 times stronger than steel. It is not just a good conductor of electricity; it is the best-known conductor of electricity. And, it is slippery, very slippery.
It’s been available for several months now but I’m sure the developer of this brilliant app will be happy with a bit of free publicity; iNanotube 1.1 for IOS allows customers to style and create a nanotube (an atomic sized) making use of the app’s easy program. Construction and treatment of these small wires is easily obtained through the touchscreen interface, which allows manipulating a piece of graphene into the form of a nanotube. The app provides immediate online design of the small components, made from the most effective and stiffest material yet found, which are too small to be seen with even the highest resolution microscopes.