Week 6: The World’s Strongest Material

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Week 6

The World’s Strongest Material

Graphene is the world’s strongest material and tougher than a diamond and is being touted as a ‘wonder’ material by both researchers as well as investors.

A little over a decade ago researchers started to study Graphene, and since that time they have discovered dozens of potential applications and exciting properties of this ‘wonder’ material. And they are increasingly convinced that this one-atom thick sheet of carbon promises to revolutionise many industries, including sensors, batteries, conductors, displays, electronics, energy generation and perhaps even medicine and many more.

Perhaps not many are aware that Graphene is in fact the strongest material ever developed, in fact it is 200 times stronger than steel and tougher than a diamond, whilst being the world’s thinnest material with much flexibility and transparency. It is also the best heat and electricity conductor.

Obviously, the revelations have caused much excitement in the research community and as it follows the worlds business community in lock step. Whilst the commercialisation of graphene is just in its infancy, there are already several dozen new companies which have been setup and funded to develop graphene based material, graphene production processes and a host of other related activities.

At this early stage of development, it is understandable that many of these companies are still privately held but gradually we are starting to see the emergence of some pure-play graphene companies on public stock exchanges. e majority of these public companies are on the exchanges of Australia, Canada and the U.K and gradually more and more investors are waking up to the opportunities that this new emerging area holds.

For investors looking to gain exposure to graphene the opportunities are somewhat limited but do generally provide a spread of exposure either as a pure direct play on graphene or towards upstream applications or the production industry that needs to be built to bring this ‘wonder’ material to market. Whilst there are just a few dozen pure graphene public companies currently, they do o er a spread of exposure to this new emerging resource. Some companies focus on graphene composite solutions, others more towards varying production methods and technologies, whilst others look at particularly uses, such as for lubricants, thermal management solutions and energy storage devices.

There are other ways to invest for exposure to graphene, as several large public companies are taking up graphene research, especially in high end fields such as electronics and photonics, and which if successful will likely lead towards a small part of their business. Another option to gain exposure to the emerging graphene opportunity is to invest in graphene production equipment and there are several public companies that are seeking to be leaders in providing such equipment to key players in the semiconductor industry.

Another popular alternative is to invest in graphite miners, as several are also targeting graphene and planning to start graphene production as well as investing in graphene related companies.