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Graphene Nanoplatelet Membranes for Aerospace Applications

S. Rawal, J. Ravine, R. Czerw
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, US

Keywords: graphene nanoplatelet, membranes, thermal management, energy storage devices


Graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), conceptually described as unrolled carbon nanotubes, exhibit attractive properties including the highest thermal conductivity known and twice the surface area of carbon nanotubes. By blending with a minimal ratio of carbon nanotubes in a papermaking-like process, a thin, robust membrane is produced which can be pre-impregnated with resin and handled similarly to carbon fiber prepreg materials. This paper-like membrane can be easily and strategically inserted in traditional composite manufacturing including autoclave and out-of-autoclave processing without the introduction of additional steps or cure cycle alterations. In addition to offering thermal and electrical property enhancements similar to or surpassing those accomplished with carbon nanotubes, the graphene nanoplatelets are significantly cheaper and easier to disperse. Space application development efforts with graphene nanoplatelet membranes have included thermal management and electromagnetic environmental effects protection of composite structures, and energy storage related applications. This paper presents the results of processing and evaluation of GNP membranes for aerospace applications.
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