In the near future, graphene might be used to make inflatable safety slides for airplanes, according to a recently published patent application from Goodrich.
US Patent Application number 20120315407 protects the use of graphene nanoplatelets mixed with a phosphorus-based flame retardant in any kind of inflatable device in which strength and light weight are needed. Emphasis is placed on safety slides for aircraft. XG Sciences appears as the main provider of the graphene nanoplatelets.
The requirements for a safety slide are numerous: the fabric from which the slide is made must be impermeable to air, resistant to heat, flame, contaminants, fungus, and other potential threats. In addition, the fabric must have a small weight in order to be considered for use in airplanes. The Goodrich invention keeps all the required properties, while reducing the weight by an amazing 25% compared to conventional modern slides.
Apart from the graphene from XG Sciences, the invention includes graphene exfoliated directly at Goodrich, and other chemicals which form the inflammable matrix. Goodrich has been operating for more than 140 years, specializing in aircraft systems and controls.