LONDON - Scientists at Imperial College London are set to receive over £4.5 million of public funding to investigate how graphene can drive improvements in high-tech industries such as aerospace design and medical technologies.

Three research projects at Imperial will share the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding as part of a new program with a number of industrial partners, including airplane manufacturer Airbus.

In one project worth £1.35 million, led by Professor Tony Kinloch from the Department of Mechanical Engineering with colleagues from the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, researchers will explore how combining graphene with current materials can improve the properties of airplane parts, such as making them resistant to lightning strikes. They hope the same technology can also be used to develop coatings for wind-turbine blades, to make them scratch resistant and physically tougher in extreme weather conditions.