Until now, the manufacturing world has only begun to scratch the surface in its use of a carbon form called graphene, but, in the coming decades, this miracle material will improve our lives in untold ways and help us address some of our most pressing challenges.

All the way down to the atomic level, graphene has a number of performance benefits that will make it a prized material for more advanced manufacturing. It is the smallest, strongest substance known to man. It’s 200 times stronger than steel, yet it’s incredibly light. And, even at just one atom thick, graphene’s thermal and electrical conductivity are astounding.

As we rely more and more on electricity for power, graphene will revolutionize how the world operates. Automakers, for example, will use graphene to build lighter electric cars and trucks with stronger body panels and more efficient electrical systems. That would lead to safer, more efficient driving. And that will lead to fewer traffic deaths and reduced carbon emissions.

And those are only some of the benefits for the automotive industry alone. Graphene will be everywhere, in products all around us. Like we said, itty bitty graphene is going to be huge.

When you stop to think about how much electricity today’s cars use, you really can appreciate how far the automotive industry has come. With all the sensors, lighting, safety devices, cameras, navigation systems, emission controls, touchscreen displays and more, our cars have evolved into rolling, high voltage supercomputers. And that’s just for starters. As we move toward a world in which everyone has an electric vehicle, you can start to appreciate just how much electricity will be required for billions of drivers to operate their cars.

Now, imagine the impact graphene will have when it can improve electrical conductivity not by 10% or 20% but by up to 70%! We’ll likely see graphene in all the wiring and silicon chips throughout your car. The days of plain, old copper wiring are numbered.

Graphene’s conductivity advantages aren’t limited to electricity. It’s also an incredible thermal conductor. All the mechanical parts on and in your car that get hot could benefit from a graphene coating to help dissipate heat. Your radiator, for instance, could operate at cooler temperatures, which would theoretically help your engine last longer and run more efficiently.

And what if your car’s paint surface could be coated with a material that helped it shed some heat under the hot, summer sun? What if your steering wheel weren’t blazing hot? Wouldn’t that be something?

These impacts are just the electrical and thermal applications. Because graphene is so light and strong, automakers will almost certainly integrate it in the body panels of their cars. Theoretically, it could even be used to innovate stiffer wheels for a stronger power transfer to the road, plastics for more durable wear and tires for longer-lasting performance. And here, at Turtle Wax, we can definitely imagine a whole new generation of clear coats that sparkle and shine with unprecedented durability and greater scratch-resistance.


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