Graphene – A slippery little thing.

graphene slipperiness

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.

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