I am curious whether this will become an option, especially for longer lasting structures. Could pre-stressed graphene or another high tensile strength material by used to reinforce granite block construction?

Potentially relevant values:

Thermal Expansion Coeffiecients:
granite 7.9−8.4⋅10−6 m/mK,
graphene: it has a negative thermal expansion value

Compressive Strengths:
concrete: ~40 MPa
granite: ~200 MPa

Tensile Strengths: Rebar: 420 MPa
Graphene: 130.5 GPa

Please note I am not certain of these values.

  • $\begingroup$ See and consider engineering.stackexchange.com/q/26206/10902 $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ Have you done any research on how this post-tensioning would be accomplished? (Eg. running it through holes in the blocks seems absurdly laborious/expensive) Also, your questions overall lately seem to presuppose that increasing material compressive strength will increase structure service life, which is not necessarily true. Life cycle costs further muddy the waters. As for the graphene, in many structures there are both compression and tension stresses. Either one can be a limit state, so providing oodles of tension capacity just means compression will control. $\endgroup$
    – CableStay
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ @CableStay I'm not asking about the process to build it, or the costs. I am asking about the structure itself. the high values of the graphene and granite just mean we can use less of the material to build. What will increase service life? The blocks seem like a great way to relieve stress as instead of cracking they will slightly slide. Removing the steel seems like a great way as that seems to be a primary mode of failure. $\endgroup$
    – Dev Slocum
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 4:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So..is it, in some particular, very limited situation technically possible? Maybe. But engineering solutions aren't just about "is this novel and possible". Things like feasibility really matter. Explaining why this hypothetical isn't a very good solution necessitates a fairly extensive discussion of how structures and their materials behave as well as how design life and design loads are arrived at. I do appreciate that you're posing a fun hypothetical, but this community isn't geared toward answering a question that (while specific) requires a very broad explanation to justify a yes or no. $\endgroup$
    – CableStay
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe is good. We may be able to build the processes to make it feasible. $\endgroup$
    – Dev Slocum
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 5:01

2 Answers 2


I think so. The simplest example I can think of is this: You take a beam of granite and glue (potentially pre-stressed) graphene to the side that will be under tension in your building. If the beam spans between two coloumns, you would reinforce the underside. If it cantilevers out of a wall, the top.

Now there's several questions here that I can't answer:

  • will you need to pre-stress the graphene?
  • Can you actually securely glue graphene to granite?
  • Is there any case where such a construction is superior to reinforced concrete?

I think you're better off using a carbon fiber wrapped into a rod and impregnated with epoxy. That's more practical and cost effective than graphene.

  • $\begingroup$ Have fun drilling the holes... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ So how does the graphene also get in Mr. ""Mike"", after all, they are both spinoff of same carbon structure. $\endgroup$
    – TechDroid
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike Surface bond fiber on existing concrete has gained popularity these days in retrofit works. $\endgroup$
    – r13
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ Currently, rebar is more practical and cost effective. $\endgroup$
    – Abel
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 11:49

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