Graphene, a two-dimensional allotrope of carbon bonded in a hexagonal lattice, is the closest thing to a “miracle material” we’ve seen in a while. For the same thickness, it is 200 times as strong as steel at one fifth the weight, has ten times the thermal conductivity of copper, less electrical resistance than silver (the best metal), three times lower sliding friction than teflon. The Nobel Prize in physics for 2010 was awarded for “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”, which is probably the only time a Nobel Prize was won for an experiment in which the principal apparatus was a roll of Scotch tape.
Many industrial methods of producing graphene result in costs of hundreds of US$ per gram, but here’s a way to make it at home, assuming your basement workshop has a 1100 joule capacitor bank and vacuum chamber.
The astounding ability of tiny quantities of graphene to reinforce epoxy material is demonstrated after it’s made.