First International Standard on Graphene Definitions has been published

Graphene is considered by many as a wonder material with the potential to revolutionize several industrial sectors: from coatings and composites, to electronics and aerospace. The estimated global market for graphene itself has been estimated to be in the range of US$ billions by 2035.Besides, a worldwide race is happening to develop graphene applications, with an even bigger market potential, reaching areas such as high efficiency batteries and desalination membranes. However, as any other new revolutionary material, the development of these applications and their introduction into the market depend strongly on the quality of the produced graphene.

One of the major difficulties is the lack of standards for this new graphene materials. In addition, this new market lacks in transparency when any carbonaceous material can be freely sold as “graphene”.

A recent study carried out by NUS’s Centre for Advanced 2D Materials (CA2DM-NUS) on the quality of graphene flakes samples (from more than 60 different companies worldwide) showed that most of the companies are producing lower quality graphene (or even graphite).

This lack of a global standard for graphene has also lowered the expectations of investors in this market, and hindering robust investments to support industrial up-scaling of graphene production processes.

But after all, some good news shine over this cloudy market. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published the first standard on Graphene nomenclature and definitions.

ISO/TS 80004-13:2017: Nanotechnologies — Vocabulary — Part 13: Graphene and related two-dimensional (2D) materials

This was a result of the work from the Nanotechnologies Technical Committee (TC229) at ISO, and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC, TC 113).

Now a consistent and transparent graphene market can begin to materialize. Standards like this provide a strong basis for stablishing this new wonder material, and also to develop national and international regulations, save time and reduce barriers in international trading.