Beware of new material claims - the case of graphene


Given that graphene is quite the in vogue material for audio applications I wonder how many (if any) of the vendors selling this are actually sourcing the real thing?

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2018/10/11/graphene-you-dont-get-what-you-pay-for
33b07c8b a6d8 4786 bcd8 c42e79bdc595folkfreak
Worth being aware of, thanks.
Given that real Graphene is (defined as) one molecule thick and that layer upon layer of Graphene is really no longer Graphene, but still might be better than X, one imagines lots of care is required when making, handling and applying product. On the other hand Graphene has been used in certain tennis racquets for at least five years and is recently showing up in road bike tires. So, most likely by now some Graphene production is top notch. For the DIYer, well, you can always resort to the tape method.
Proper graphene is still a bear to produce. It is likely that many that tout ’graphene’ as inclusive...are touting a marketing definition.

https://www.graphene-info.com/
(It’s an ’all things graphene’ link. It will help one get up to speed and up to the moment -- in graphene data)
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I agree with teo_audio. Graphene is a terribly difficult material to make into products outside the lab. One group that is close to bringing a headphone to market with driver diaphragms made of graphene is Oro. You can search for them over on Kickstarter. And theirs is layered graphene, rather than unitary molecular graphene. Still, they are so rigid they claim to have almost no modal breakup. We’ll see when they ship in 2019!
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Calloway claims to have graphene in their "Chrome" soft golf balls. They claim to use it in the cover materials as "..graphene-infused Dual SoftFast Cores."

I read with much interest the thread/discussion on Total Contact.

Was wondering if anyone has tried Mad Scientist Audio's Graphene Contact Enhancer?
Who has the technology to apply a single-molecule layer of carbon--a semi-conductor manufacturer?  Would an audio cable or fuse even benefit from such a thin layer?  Doubtful, but some process or material is providing superior conduction in products I am using, including Total Contact and SR Blue fuses--this much I know.      
You guys should use Google. Graphene is easy to come by and is quite reasonably priced these days.
https://graphene-supermarket.com/Pristine-Graphene-Monolayer-Flakes-50-ml.html
@deeperthought not sure you read the article in the original link which is from a well regarded chemistry blog. The point being that almost 100% of what is sold as single layer graphene is anything but that and unless you have the resources to assay what you are buying you’ve got no idea. I’m assuming no hi fi manufacturers test their graphene, they just trust their suppliers
Well the link I included is to a very well respected manufacturer (based in NY) that supplies laboratories internationally. They supply micro-spectrographs of some of their products. The product I linked to is well priced and contains 99% single layer graphene.
So rather than accepting an article that is issuing a broad warning without any investigation, people can find real graphene at reasonable prices with a small amount of research.
I’m sure fraud is an issue. But remember that fraud occurs for anything of value. Cables, Rolex’s whatever. People can do a small amount of research to get the real thing. 

OK, so you got your single layer or three layer Graphene in ethanol or pure powder. Now what are going to do? 😳
It would be nice to hear Bob Grost of Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme and Matrix cables chime in on the subject. 
Uh, why would he feel an obligation to chime in? 
Because he makes cables with graphene.
Uh, obviously, but why would he share how he makes them with John Q. Public? Anymore than the dude who makes Graphene contact enhancer would be interested in sharing his ideas. 

It's no so much how he builds some parts of his cables using graphene, but why.... And is he using proper graphene two-dimensional crystal latice, or much more readily available and inexpensive bulk graphite powder instead? Graphene is constituted by single layers of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal matrix. I still do not understand what function these micro-sheets of material might have in audio applications from an engineering point of view...


... From a sheer marketing communication point of view instead.... That's an entirely other matter, just like all other new-fangled exotica *Grins!*


G.

   

Graphene in its two dimensional firm is MUCH stronger, I.e., tensile strength, than steel. It is really a super material. That’s why production plants are cranking this stuff out by the ton, hoping to cash in. Graphene is also an excellent electrical conductor, a super conductor, as it were, much better than copper or silver. In addition Graphene is an excellent shield against EMI/RFI. Even in a 2-5 layer form, Graphene is a formidable material.

eYes, a mono atomic layer of graphene is stronger than a monoatomic layer of Iron doped with carbon... And so is a thread of a spiderweb.... However, we go through spiderwebs without ever feeling them.


Besides, how does this superior tensil strength matter in the audible performance of an audio cable? particularly when the form of graphene used is a powder or solution of micro/nano sheets?


G.


 

You’re not following. I mentioned physical and electrical properties of Graphene. That’s why Graphene is being used in high end bike tires, tennis racquets, perhaps high end bike frames, I.e., tensile strength and lightness, as well as electrical contact enhancers and high end audio cables, I.e., superior conductivity and EMI/RFI shielding. In other words, it’s a product crying out 😪for applications. I will say, audiophiles seem to understand the implications better than many other industries. The way to build up tensile strength in applications would be to apply Graphene layers, each separated by some thin physical layer of some other material, thus maintaining the functionality and viability of the single layers of Graphene.
Still, no one is proving the stuff being marketed is actually WHAT IT IS CLAIMED TO BE. Anyone can buy some garbage labeled ’graphene’ and call it graphene, even though it is useless junk.
IMO that is what the op is writing about. Anyone can claim anything about what they are selling. Since nobody is checking what the stuff really IS.
And that is the point the op is pointing out.Sure someone can point out some company making ’something’. Can anyone prove what they just bought really is as claimed? hardly. "Well gee, they said it was graphene".
Yeah, right. It’s all a scam, a global conspiracy of monsterous proportions designed and choreographed to lure the naive gullible newbie into the tender tweak trap and squeeze him dry. 😛 What’s next? Artificial atoms? Messages from Mars? Quantum teleportation?

Hello Geoff, the problem of using graphene as a material for uber-strong composits is -- at least for the moment -- the ubercost and low feasibility of creating long fibers in bulk/industrial quantities.... Typically, structural composites are formed by long strands of carbon fiber woven into cloth, soaked into uncured epoxy, transported and manipulated at about -50C, then shaped and layered, and finally cured to solidity inside autoclaves. One of the keys is "long fibers"... And that is one of the problems with current bulk manufacturing of graphene.... It's easy/cheap to create solutions containing self-standing micro-sheets.... But self-standing long fibers are a different matter all together. Th other problem of graphene is that while it has very desirable tensil strength, it has poor bending/torsion characteristics.... This might preclude its usage in many wiring applications, in spite it having electric resistivity less than Silver.


Perhaps at some point it might be feasible to coat conducting lines on boards and circuit components with a monoatomic layers of graphene... But there is no guarantee that the audible result would be desirable.


Rather, if the construction of graphene-based composites were feasible, it would be interesting to try them for components where rigidity and low mass can have a positive impact... E.g. speaker diaphragms, tone arms, etc...

 

G.

   


 



I already pointed out Graphene in constructing stronger and stiffer materials is not (rpt not) anything new. Djokovic has been using Head Graphene tennis racquets for some years. Graphene tennis racquets were introduced about six years ago. I have noticed at least one brand of high end bicycle racing tires are now available that employ Graphene for strength (puncture resistance). And that high end bike frames may already contain Graphene. You know, for strength and weight saving. I already mentioned tonearms, plinth, speaker cabinets, iso platforms as audio applications and some mentioned the other day somebody is experimenting with Graphene for tweeter diaphragms. The industry is slow to react. Very slow! So, my advice is hop on board the Graphene train. 🚂 Toot! Toot!
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Synergistic research has been making $$ on the Graphene s  name coating them on the conductors in their fuses and going sky high 
on the price per fuse $150 each. I will admit they are the best ones 
I have used luckily only 1in my integrated amp.
i see coatings to you can buy.  The Synergistic purifiers forspeakers have Graphene a bit . And a small improvement.
the hype is a  bit much and way over used to extract much more $$. If you get a 30-60 money back guarantee fine. If not Don’t 
take the chance.
You’re mistaken. SR does not (rpt not) coat the conductor in their fuses with Graphene. 
As far as I know, only ORA sound in Canada actually produce "real" molecule-thick graphene for audio diaphragms.
https://www.ora-sound.com
Uh, GrapheneQ is not (rpt not) Graphene. It’s a composite.  
Is the OP suggesting that there could be people or companies involved in audio who sell something to people claiming it's one thing, while in actuality it isn't?  Do you really think that someone could make false claims about something in audio?

No!  Say it isn't so!  I'm sure their conscience would get the best of them.  Wouldn't it?  

;-)
@soundermn correct -- one has to assume that everything that is claimed in audio is bunk, let our ears judge and leave the marketing sales pitch in the dustbin where it belongs

The point of posting a link from a well regarded authority in the field in which I earn a living, was to observe that if expert chemists, with access to the necessary tools and assays to measure what they are being sold, are using material that is not what it claims to be what hope can we have that what wen mere audio fools are getting is anything it claims to be ... none of which says that I for one am not pleased with what "graphene" based offerings do for my system, just that I'm not pretending I understand what or why they work
Fake argument. Why would anyone cry foul when you can hear the Graphene based product? Are you intentionally trying to start a fight? What do you mean you don’t understand how Graphene works? Everyone else does by now. 
Geoff -- to quote your original posting on this thread

Given that real Graphene is (defined as) one molecule thick and that layer upon layer of Graphene is really no longer Graphene, but still might be better than X, one imagines lots of care is required when making, handling and applying product. On the other hand Graphene has been used in certain tennis racquets for at least five years and is recently showing up in road bike tires. So, most likely by now some Graphene production is top notch. For the DIYer, well, you can always resort to the tape method.

My point was to agree with you -- be careful about claims of "real" i.e. monolayer graphene, that's all ...


Graphene is not a mono-molecule layer of carbon... It is instead a mono-atomic layer of carbon, arranged in a hexagonal latice... There are no molecules per se in graphene, but the entire graphene sheet or micro-sheet, be it bound to a substrate or free-standing, can be deemed to be a cristal or a crystal fragment.


G.

  

@folkfreak I'm totally with you!  I was being sarcastic.  I don't think that we should assume everything is bunk... but I am a complete skeptic on most things "tweaky".  Any outrageous claim could be bunk or could be reality.  However, what about the unintended impact?  

Graphene is a good example.  Someone in the forum who is often overly hyperbolic about tweaks extolls the virtue of this wondrous new tweak.  It solves every problem in the world of audio.  A veil is lifted.  

Yeah, okay...  What's the negative?  1. Expensive. (of course) 2. Not able to really verify what it is. (as you note above)  3. Not really tested in the long term. (try to get this stuff off!  How long does it last?)  4. Highly conductive, so if it spills or happens to be on a little too much... immediate short. (what happens if it drips inside your nice piece of gear?)   Now, do you think his hyperbole highlighted any of these items?  Absolutely not.

So, in those ways, I'm a skeptic, and I want to know more before I go plunk down my benjamins on graphene, mystery cones, battery powered interconnects, jewels to hang on the wall, or any of these other snake oil tweaks.  In fact, if the post or ad says anything about "tweak", I know I have to dig further, or file it in the goofball round file.
It’s obviously much more difficult to produce and apply “real” two dimensional graphene. But what’s not clear is that there are also apparently advantages to 2, 3, 4, 5 layer Graphene, which is apparently easier to mass produce, at least I suspect it is, but multi layer Graphene is not quite the super material as “real” Graphene. But it might work very well and be less hassle.

So, one should probably not be quite so suspicious, that’s all I’m saying. Obviously Graphene as applied to Tennis racquets, bike frames, bicycle tires, and Graphene cables the Graphene in question is not two dimensional Graphene but something else. Ditto for the new Graphene speaker diaphrams from Canada. They are Graphene composites, not real Graphene. Graphene is the new carbon fiber, that’s all.
I think I'll save my $$$ and stick with copper or silver and a good tight connection and pass on all the Graphene hype. As far as Graphene infused speaker diaphrams, well, I won't go there...Jim
Thanks for not going there. Much appreciated. 🤫
@geofkait....You’re welcome!........ :-)

Several comments on Graphene. 

Total Contact uses graphene; however, it has a proprietary other product in it that allows it to be a super conductor per the manufacturer as well as a process which melds the two to work concurrently.

In the SR Fuses, my amps have the 8 amp Blue SR fuses where the amps are rated for 5 amp fuses.  The manufacturer installed 5 amp breakers in place of his fuses.  The result is indistinguishable sonic differences.  Apparently, there is great validity in the fact the larger contact area of the fuse has a positive effect on the sound through transmission of more signal.  So, while the Blue SR fuse sounds great, so does a cheap metal breaker in its place.

There is no such thing as a room-temperature superconductor.... As far as I know, the highest temperature superconductors created this far require to be cooled at the temperature of liquid Nitrogen...


Beware of extraordinary claims!


G.

 

Whoa! Hey! Relax! Don’t flip yer gizzard. it’s just an expression. You know, as in Super Conductor. Which is a true statement. Graphene is a much better conductor than silver or copper ever thought of being.

Oh... Like in "this here graphite thingie makes 'em 'lectrons go real goodly"?!


Yeah, may be, but the word superconductor has a very precise meaning in physics.... And misuse of "superconductor" "graphene", and other such neo-trending words in marketing communications/advertisings leads consumers to trusting in pseudo-scientific fantasies.


G.


 

Let me remind you that he did not (rpt not) use the word superconductor. You did. Don’t be such a drama queen. If you don’t know the electrical properties of Graphene try Google.
Actually geoff, twas not guidocorona refering to Total Contact's claim of their product being a superconductor:

@fleschler  Total Contact uses graphene; however, it has a proprietary other product in it that allows it to be a super conductor per the manufacturer as well as a process which melds the two to work concurrently.

By very deffinition, Graphene is a micro thin layer (acording to guidocorona, a mono-atomic, layer) of carbon. That's what makes it Graphene and what allows it's extreme qualities. It can't be gooped up in a solution with something else and still be considered Graphene, or expected to posess the qualities of Graphine.
 Just sayn: Beware or fraudulent and perposterous claims.....Jim
Thanks for straightening me out. 🙄
Okay, but I stand by whatever Tim Mrock uses in his Omega E-Mats, SR duplexes and SR fuses they all claim have graphene in them.
...not wanting to potentially toss an 'accelerant' onto embers, But...

A cohort and I got excited (briefly) over 'graphene' as a speaker cone, until certain practicalities prevailed:
-cost
-source
-How does one handle an object 1 molecule thick?! *L*

2 mil Al or Ti is problematic enough...sure, it's supposed to be 'all the Good Stuff, But....adhesives, forming, and WTH would it look like?

My 'jury' still out....to lunch, to the pool, anywhere else for the time being.  I'm interested, but when a company that's selling a 3D carbon fiber printer can't form anything thin enough for a prototype....

Like class D amps.....there's going to be a period of growth before we can admire 'Practical Magic'.

Just saying...;)....MHO....I'll go away now...