Dynamic mechanical behavior of multilayer graphene via supersonic projectile penetration

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Science  28 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6213, pp. 1092-1096
DOI: 10.1126/science.1258544

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Multilayer graphene is an exceptional anisotropic material due to its layered structure composed of two-dimensional carbon lattices. Although the intrinsic mechanical properties of graphene have been investigated at quasi-static conditions, its behavior under extreme dynamic conditions has not yet been studied. We report the high–strain-rate behavior of multilayer graphene over a range of thicknesses from 10 to 100 nanometers by using miniaturized ballistic tests. Tensile stretching of the membrane into a cone shape is followed by initiation of radial cracks that approximately follow crystallographic directions and extend outward well beyond the impact area. The specific penetration energy for multilayer graphene is ~10 times more than literature values for macroscopic steel sheets at 600 meters per second.

Graphene: A miniature bulletproof vest?

To stop a speeding projectile, you need a combination of strength and toughness so that the impact doesn't just pierce the stopping material. The material also needs to dissipate the absorbed kinetic energy. Lee et al. measured the response of multilayer graphene to the projection of microbullets using miniaturized ballistic tests. The findings confirm graphene's exceptional strength and stiffness.

Science, this issue p. 1092

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