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Seminar : Fabrication, Mechanical and Functional Properties of Graphene Foams and their Composites


Speaker: Professor Yiu-Wing Mai 
Centre for Advanced Materials Technology (CAMT) 
School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering 
The University of Sydney, Australia 

Date: 8 February, 2017 (Wednesday) 

Time: 11:00 a.m. 

Venue: Room 7-37, Haking Wong Building, HKU 

Graphene in various forms has demonstrated outstanding mechanical, electrical and thermal properties and has found many potential engineering applications. 3D graphene foams (GF) are of particular interest and have been mainly prepared by two typical methods. 

In the first method, graphene foams are grown on a porous Ni template by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). This 3D network graphene can be used as fillers in an epoxy matrix and as interleaves in glass fibre/epoxy composites.  As fillers in epoxy, the composites possess very high electrical conductivity (300 S/m at 0.2 wt% GF) and excellent fracture energies (940 kJ/m2 at 0.1 
wt% GF). As interleaves, the glass fibre/epoxy composites display remarkable mode I (1.62 kJ/m2) and mode II (2.54 kJ/m2) interlaminar fracture energies as well as interlaminar shear strength (62.5 MPa). With 3D graphene foams, issues of dispersion and functionalization prior to incorporation into epoxy become non-existent.  

In the second method, N-doped graphene foams are synthesized by pyrolysis of commercial polyurethane sponge coated with graphene oxide sheets in an ethanol flame. Removal of the template is fast and facile. These ultralow-density N-doped GF exhibit good electrical-mechanical response, excellent organic liquid absorption and high energy dissipation capability. 

Relevant references: 
Jia JJ, Sun XY, Lin XY, Shen XY, Mai Y-W, Kim JK, ACS Nano, 8, 2014, 5774-5783. 
Jia JJ, Du XS, Chen C, Sun XY, Mai Y-W, Kim JK, Carbon, 95, 2015, 978-986. 
Du XS, Liu HY, Mai Y-W, ACS Nano, 10, 2016, 453-462. 
Du XS, Zhou H, Sun W, Liu HY, Zhou G, Zhou H, Mai Y-W, Compos Sci and Technol, 140, 2017, 123-133. 

Short biography: 
Professor Yiu-Wing Mai is a mechanical engineering alumnus of the University of Hong Kong where he received his undergraduate and postgraduate training. He worked previously in the USA (University of Michigan and the NIST), the UK (Imperial College) and Hong Kong (CityU, 
HKU, HKUST and PolyU). He holds a University Chair in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sydney. Prof Mai has made seminal contributions on fracture mechanics and advanced composite materials. His research results have impacted on the developments of asbestos-free 
fibre cements, testing protocols for essential work of fracture of polymers, and improved composites manufacturing processes. Prof Mai is Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2016 he was awarded the AA Griffith Medal of the UK Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and the AGM Michell Medal of the Mechanical Engineering College, Engineers Australia. 


For further information, please contact Dr. M.X. Huang at 3917 7906. 

Professor Yiu Wing Mai (8 February 2017)