Graphene-enhanced Chevy Camaro Created by University of Alabama EcoCAR3 team

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Thanks to the ingenuity of University of Alabama students, a graphene-enhanced Chevy Camaro will be on display at the Graphene Innovation and Research Conference in Jackson, Mississippi this November.

Member-institution of the NGA Academic Council, UA published the following report in 2017 featuring their EcoCAR 3 team competing against 15 other North American universities in a four-year engineering competition sponsored by General Motors and the US Department Energy. The goal was to design and construct a car that uses less energy and emits less pollution without sacrificing performance, safety or consumer appeal.

“Tasked with reducing the weight of a Chevrolet Camaro transforming into a hybrid electric vehicle, engineering students at The University of Alabama successfully fabricated a lighter hood, proving a cutting-edge material can work on a consumer car.

The new hood is made of a mixture of graphene and carbon fiber, while the original hood is aluminum, as are nearly all exterior parts on consumer passenger vehicles.

It is the first hood with graphene fused into the material, likely giving it some flexibility lacking in a hood made of only carbon fiber.

It is also half the weight of the original hood, a crucial adjustment as a larger team of students work to turn the Camaro into a plug-in hybrid as part of a national contest called EcoCAR 3.

Graphene is an atomically thin layer of the mineral graphite that is stronger and lighter than any metal or carbon-based material.

“The idea of the carbon fiber with graphene was to lightweight the hood so that you have weight reduction while still maintaining the physical strength and performance of the hood,” said Zach Reasoner, a senior from Greenwood Village, Colorado, who is studying mechanical engineering and who worked on the project.

Six students designed and tested the hood as a senior project over the past two semesters.

The hood will be used by UA’s EcoCAR 3 team competing against 15 other North American universities to design and construct a car that uses less energy and emits less pollution without sacrificing performance, safety or consumer appeal. General Motors Co. and the U.S. Department of Energy sponsor the four-year engineering competition.” Read full article here.

About the National Graphene Association (NGA)

The National Graphene Association is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene. NGA is focused on addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene-based materials globally. NGA brings together current and future graphene stakeholders — entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, developers and suppliers, investors, venture capitalists, and government agencies — to drive innovation, and to promote and facilitate the commercialization of graphene products and technologies. 

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