Graphene is often referred to as the “wonder material” of the 21st century because of its use in a growing number of applications across a broad range of industries.
For this reason, graphene companies offer investors an opportunity to gain exposure to an industry with substantial long-term growth potential.
The global graphene market size is estimated to reach 1.08 billion USD by 2027 and grow at a compounded annual rate of 38.7% for the period 2020-2027, according to Grand View Research, Inc. This rapid growth is projected to be driven by increasing demand for consumer electronics products in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States and emerging economies.
What is graphene and what makes it so special? It’s a two-dimensional form of graphite which possesses unique properties. The material is only one atom thick, therefore only its width and length are considered “sides” since the height is effectively zero. It is a transformative material that is disrupting multiple industries, including consumer electronics, textiles, and automobiles.
Graphene’s key characteristics:
- It is a nearly perfect conductor of heat and electricity
- It is one million times thinner than a human hair, yet 200 times stronger than steel
- Graphene is flexible and highly impermeable (not even helium atoms can penetrate the material), making it ideal for applications such as gas detection
Changing Consumer Electronics
Graphene composite power banks is one example of this material providing much higher electrical conductivity. Graphene dramatically lowers battery charging times for consumer electronics devices. Traditional lithium-ion batteries create resistivity feedback loops that can produce excessive heat thereby limiting the speed of battery charging. These batteries are speed regulated to control heat build-up and reduce the risk of fire during charging. For example, charging a laptop with a graphene battery could take roughly 40-minutes, a regulated battery needs several hours.
Graphene composite power banks run much cooler so devices are able to charge many times faster without risk. In addition, lower temperatures extend the lifespan of other electrical components, resulting in greater durability and longevity. These attributes make graphene power banks attractive for electronic device makers who can then provide busy users with lightning-fast charge times without the risk of overheating.
One pure-play in the growth of graphene technology is Real Graphene, a company that develops graphene composite power bank chargers for devices that produce faster and safer battery charging. For example, Real Graphene recently announced its G-Lite 5,000mAh 3.7V/18.5Wh graphene composite power bank that can charge mobile phones one and a half times in 17 minutes, up to five times faster than both standard lithium-ion chargers and fast-charging packs.
Powering the Automotive Industry
Car manufacturers are always eager to adopt materials that reduce weight and bulk while improving vehicle performance. Future developments in graphene power banks could extend the driving ranges of electric vehicles by 500 miles or more in addition to significantly reducing the battery charge times.
Graphene is used in a range of other automotive applications to improve the strength of tires, reduce total vehicle weight, and in structural applications to better protect occupants in the event of a crash.
The Graphene Clothing Connection
Clothing company Vollebak developed some of the first jackets that incorporated graphene. The company integrated graphene sheets into ski jackets to leverage the material’s heat conduction properties. The jacket helps to equalize natural body temperatures by moving heat from warm to colder areas while helping to control humidity. The jacket can also store heat if left in the sun, so that it radiates heat evenly throughout the wearer’s body.
Opportunity for Investors
The Grand View Research, Inc. study implies a favorable outlook for graphene over the next several years.
- As noted earlier, the global graphene market is projected to experience very rapid revenue growth at a CAGR of 38.7% from 2020-2027 implying opportunities for strong profit potential.
- In 2019, graphene nanoplatelets accounted for a 51.1% share of the total graphene market revenues and is estimated to see a substantial compound annual growth rate into 2027 due to superior characteristics of the product like high strength and permeability.
- Revenues from the electronics sector are estimated to reach 391.7 USD million by 2027, as product applications proliferate.
- North America, the largest market, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 37.1% through 2027 primarily due to advanced capabilities in electronics manufacturing.
- Anticipated support from the Chinese government could help to spur additional private investments in this burgeoning market.
- Technological advancements in graphene composite materials will continue to expand the marketplace - from a new type of electric car to a phone that charges in minutes.
With a favorable long-term outlook for this wonder material, investors will want to keep graphene players on their radar.
Peter Miselis, CFA, investor relations adviser. With 30 years of experience in the investment and investor relations industries, Peter harnesses the insights and perspectives gained as an equity research analyst and portfolio manager, and the deep understanding of the capital markets to be a strategic asset to his clients. Peter has developed winning investor relations strategies in a wide range of sectors with a focus on supporting management’s growth initiatives, increasing stakeholder awareness, and advancing the corporate mission.
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