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Rolls-Royce chooses to partner with GEIC and 2-DTech

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, April 23, 2020
Versarien plc is pleased to announce that, following an open innovation call, multinational engineering company Rolls-Royce has selected to work with The University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and its Tier 1 partner, Versarien subsidiary, 2-DTech Limited.

The initial programme of work will use the state-of-the-art chemical vapour deposition (CVD) equipment located within the GEIC. The collaboration will look to explore, understand and create technological advances surrounding the use of graphene and other 2D materials used in wiring for next-generation aerospace engine systems.

The work conducted will seek to use the unique properties of these 2D materials to reduce the weight of electrical components, improve electrical performance and also increase resistance to corrosion of components in future engine systems.

The programme aims to present potential economic benefits, through the possibility of significant cost reductions, and global environmental benefits, through the reduction of energy use and lower emissions from electrification.

Neill Ricketts , Chief Executive of Versarien commented:
"The pursuit of sustainability has become an important goal for many companies in recent years. Rolls-Royce is one of the world's leading industrial technology companies and today, the size and impact of the markets its serves makes this task more urgent than ever. Taking advantage of advanced materials such as graphene, has the potential to revolutionise these markets and add real benefit.

" The partnership with Rolls-Royce is a significant endorsement to 2-DTech's work over the years and we are delighted it has been chosen by such a renowned business and look forward to working together."  

Dr Al Lambourne , Materials Specialist at Rolls - Royce, commented:
" Partnering with the GEIC and its members makes perfect sense to Rolls-Royce as we explore the opportunities and properties of a new class of 2D materials. Using the unique capabilities of 2-DTech and the GEIC we hope to address some of the challenges facing materials in the global aerospace industry , as we pioneer the electrification of future aircraft . "

James Baker, Graphene@Manchester CEO, commented:
"The GEIC is intended to act as an accelerator for graphene commercialisation, market penetration and in the creation of the material supply chain of graphene and 2D materials. It's great to see a company like Rolls-Royce partner with us and our other Tier 1 member, 2-DTech, to capitalise on our world-leading expertise and experience, along with specialist equipment, which will accelerate the product and process development and market entry."

Tags:  2D materials  2-DTech  Aerospace  Al Lambourne  chemical vapour deposition  corrosion  Graphene  Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre  James Baker  Neill Ricketts  Rolls-Royce  University of Manchester  Versarien 

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Haydale Graphene Industries PLC signed Exclusive Distributor Agreement for Electrically Conductive Graphene-Enhanced Masterbatch

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Haydale, the global advanced materials group, is pleased to announce that it has signed an exclusive distributor agreement between Haydale and Dalian Yibang Technology Co., Ltd. The Agreement is for an initial period of 4 years and allows DLYB exclusive distributor rights to market Haydale's electrically conductive graphene-enhanced masterbatch in the Chinese and Taiwanese markets.

The Agreement sees DLYB pay Haydale an initial licence fee and thereafter, the parties will work towards completion of field testing, securing the requisite licences and final certifications from the relevant authorities. Haydale will supply masterbatch and associated consultancy services at an additional cost during the pre-commercialisation phase of the Agreement. Haydale expects the contract to move from the R&D to the commercial phase in 2021 and the parties have agreed minimum annual revenue thresholds which commence at US$300,000 for the calendar year 2021 and increase annually thereafter. In order to ensure the highest standards of quality assurance, the parties have agreed that all masterbatch will be supplied by Haydale from its facilities.

DLYB has been at the forefront of introducing and servicing high-end imported products for 15 years in China, which included the introduction of copper mesh for the purpose of lightning strike protection in both aerospace and wind energy sectors. It has obtained the international aviation quality management certification AS9120 and focuses on cutting-edge and high precision materials and technical solutions for aerospace, marine, railway, wind power, battery energy and industrial filtration industries. Using its existing experience and access to market, DLYB expects to use Haydale's electrically conductive graphene-enhanced masterbatch technology to develop and sell applications into these sectors. Examples of these applications are focused on electrical screening, control of edge glow and the development of lightning strike products for the civil aviation, defence, UAV and wind energy markets.

Yuefeng Zou, CEO at DLYB, said: "Having already introduced leading-edge technology to prevent lightning strike into the Chinese Aerospace and wind energy industries, we are delighted to be working with Haydale and its world leading technology to introduce the next generation of environmentally friendly technology in this field."

Keith Broadbent, Haydale CEO, said: "We are pleased to announce this partnership. With the extensive expertise of Haydale, alongside the market knowledge of DLYB, this new contract will open up fantastic opportunities for the commercialisation of this state of art technology in both China and Taiwan."

Tags:  Aerospace  Dalian Yibang Technology  Energy  Graphene  Haydale  Keith Broadbent  Yuefeng Zou 

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Demonstration of graphene enhanced chemistry points towards lower cost and high performance composite tool designs

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Partners in a recently completed UK government funded NATEP technology programme - Composite Tooling and Engineering Solutions Ltd (CTES), SHD Composites Ltd (SHD) and Applied Graphene Materials plc (AGM) - have subsequently made a significant step forward in demonstrating the viability of an exciting new materials development that has the clear potential to offer significant time and cost savings to aerospace composite tool designers.

SHD, working closely with the project partners, has developed a prototype tooling material that combines cure at initial low temperatures (80-90°C), with the ability to be post-cured to achieve a maximum service temperature in excess of 300°C. This cure flexibility enables the use of low-cost pattern materials and progression to a final production tool without the need for an expensive, time consuming and accuracy-losing intermediate tool phase, or manufacture of an expensive, metallic master model.

The tooling resin chemistry has been enhanced by the addition of AGM’s A-GNP35 graphene nanoplatelets, significantly enhancing the matrix toughness and providing extra resilience against variations in processing conditions and resin micro-cracking over repeated production cycles. The graphene can be applied into the tool structure by addition into the bulk tooling material or discreetly targeted at critical regions by means of AGM’s Structural Ink® printing technology.

The new material has been developed with cost savings to major aerospace programmes in mind and in a technology zone where materials choice and tool design are inextricably and critically linked. The demonstrator was a 10m long CFRP AFP mandrel tool, engineered by CTES (manufactured by Retrac Composites Ltd, Swindon) and was purposely chosen as representative of the industry’s latest and highly demanding requirements.

Over coming weeks, the project team will be disseminating more details through industry forums, however the outcome was very successful, delivering a fully functional composite tool and demonstrating the potential for significantly lower costs, while maintaining the highest performance.

Although the new materials technology remains at the prototype/prove-out stage, the project partners are already actively engaged with interested parties keen to access the benefits of the system. As well as proving out production robustness, development work has also progressed to the processing of the material “out of autoclave”, as well as the potential for applications in prototype tooling for high performing thermoplastic materials.

Tags:  Aerospace  Applied Graphene Materials  Composite Tooling and Engineering Solutions Ltd  Graphene  nanoplatelets  plastics  SHD Composites Ltd 

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OAS and 2-DTech sign collaboration agreement

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Oxford Advanced Surfaces (OAS) a pioneer and market leader in the surface treatment of polymeric, plastic and composite materials by the application of highly reactive carbene chemistry has entered into a collaboration agreement with 2-DTech Limited, a subsidiary of Versarien plc.

The aim is to develop a new range of products that incorporate nano-materials, such as graphene,  into OAS’s proprietary Onto™ chemistry platform to deliver enhanced mechanical performance and improved electrical and thermal conductivity.

OAS’s patented Onto™ chemistry platform delivers a range of versatile and reliable chemical surface treatments that are used to improve the adhesion of paints, coatings and adhesives to composite materials and engineering plastics. Current Onto™ products are used in demanding applications ranging from transportation and aerospace to wind energy.

By combining 2-DTechs graphene products into OAS’s unique OntoTM chemistry the collaboration is intended to produce a range of new products that potentially will allow both companies to address a wide range of applications and address new materials challenges encountered in both our current and potentially new markets.

Dr Jon-Paul Griffiths, Chief Technology Officer, Oxford Advanced Surfaces said: “Challenging applications for new and existing materials require innovative surface treatments; through our collaboration with 2-Dtech we have the opportunity to develop new products by incorporating nano-materials, such as graphene, to meet these challenges.”

Steve Hodge, Versarien Chief Technology Officer, commented: “We are delighted and very excited to work collaboratively with OAS; our aqueous GraphinksTM and OAS’ aqueous based adhesion promoters (OntoTM) are a natural fit and can bring about unique opportunities and markets that we haven’t yet explored.”

Tags:  Aerospace  Graphene  Jon-Paul Griffiths  nanomaterials  Oxford Advanced Surfaces  Steve Hodge  Versarien 

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Graphene Flagship partners up European academia and industry to make lighter composites for planes and cars

Posted By Graphene Council, Friday, December 6, 2019

The Graphene Flagship brought together top European researchers and companies to discuss the most disruptive ways graphene could enhance composites used in the aerospace, automotive and energy industries. The multidisciplinary team involved researchers from academic institutions, business enterprises such as Graphene Flagship Partners Nanesa and Avanzare, and large transportation end-user industries, such as Graphene Flagship Partners Airbus and Fiat. 

They showed that integrating graphene and related materials (GRMs) into fibre-reinforced composites (FRCs) has great potential to improve weight and strength, and helps to overcome the bottlenecks limiting the applications of these composites in planes, cars, wind turbines and more. Nowadays, the transportation industry is responsible for nearly one-third of global energy demand, and it is the major source of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas. Graphene Flagship scientists are therefore continually trying to develop new materials to lower fuel usage and CO2 emissions, helping to mitigate environmental damage and climate change.

Graphene-integrated composites are an example of lighter materials with great potential for use in vehicle frameworks. They are constructed by introducing graphene sheets, a few billionths of a metre thick, into hierarchical fibre composites as a nano-additives. Hierarchical fibre composites are a type of composite material in which components of different sizes are combined in a controlled way to significantly improve the mechanical properties. They typically consist of micro- or mesoscopic carbon fibres, a few millionths of a metre thick, attached to a polymer matrix, and they are already used as building materials to make vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

Graphene's high aspect ratio, high flexibility and mechanical strength enable it to enhance the strength of weak points in these composites, such as at the interface between two different components. Its tunable surface chemistry also means that interactions with the carbon fibre and polymer matrix can be adjusted as needed. The fibre, polymer matrix and graphene layers all work together to distribute mechanical stress, resulting in a material with improved strength and other beneficial properties.

There are many challenges to consider. For instance, planes experience temperature changes between 20 °C and -40 °C every time they take off and land, with huge differences in pressure and humidity. Graphene-integrated composites therefore need to withstand water condensing and even freezing inside the fuselage. They also need to endure lightning strikes, which happen several times per month, so the conductive properties of graphene must be harnessed to create an electrically conductive framework that resists electromagnetic impulses. In cars, new structural materials must be able to withstand crash tests and be lightweight enough to ensure fuel efficiency. Graphene Flagship researchers are also investigating conductive materials to replace circuitry in car dashboards.

Researchers and end-users come together
Graphene Flagship partners at Queen Mary University and the National Graphene Institute, UK, FORTH-Hellas, Greece, CNR, Italy, and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, collaborated with researchers at the University of Turin, the University of Trento and KET-LAB, Italy, and the University of Patras, Greece, to provide perspectives from the research community. They worked with scientists at Graphene Flagship partner companies Nanesa, Italy, and Avanzare, Spain, to review the technological viability of graphene-incorporated FRCs.

Francesco Bertocchi, co-author of the paper and President of Nanesa, believes that graphene-incorporated FRCs are indeed feasible for vehicle design, and has created new composites with many essential properties for the transportation industries. "Thanks to the Graphene Flagship, Nanesa has worked in close synergy with many partners to create many different prototypes. These include properties such as flame retardancy, water vapor absorption barrier, high electrical and thermal conductivity, EMI shielding. We also integrated thermo-resistive systems for de-icing and anti-icing ," he says.

Graphene Flagship Partners Airbus and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, world leading aerospace and automotive industries, evaluated the impact of graphene-incorporated FRCs on the aerospace and automotive industries and assessed their commercial viability.

Tamara Blanco-Varela, co-author and materials & processes engineer at Airbus, explains that Airbus is working hard to make these materials viable for use in new aircraft models. "We all know that the aeronautical sector is very challenging for the introduction of new materials or technologies. Airbus is committed to making graphene-related materials fly as soon as possible, and a step-by-step approach is being set up," she says. By selecting 'quick-win' applications with immediate benefits to the aerospace industry, she anticipates that graphene-integrated FRCs will reach the market soon. "One example is using these materials for anti- and de-icing purposes in aeroplanes, for which Airbus will be leading activities targeting commercial exploitation of this technology. We are hoping for it to reach a high maturity level, with a target readiness level between five and six, in the next few years."

Brunetto Martorana, co-author and researcher at Graphene Flagship partner Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, adds: "The interesting structural properties of graphene have opened an interesting window for designing novel light composites." He explains that new lightweight composite materials do not necessarily need to be lower in strength and introduce safety issues. "New approaches must be found to enhance the 'crashworthiness' of composites – and graphene composites may be able to fill that role," he continues. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles have now committed to the commercialization of new composite materials, and will be leading a new initiative to bring this technology to market."

An uplifting outlook
"The Graphene Flagship provides a stable, clear, long-lasting partnership for different partners to work together. They all started their collaboration as part of our Composites Work Package", comments Vincenzo Palermo, Graphene Flagship Vice-Director and lead author of the paper. "The Graphene Flagship pushes all partners to have frequent interactions, with regular meetings – like in this case, partners who begun working on graphene with different motivations have come together to address common challenges," he says.

Costas Galiotis, the Graphene Flagship's Composites Work Package leader, expresses that this collaboration has been highly valuable. "This a comprehensive review of the work undertaken in the Graphene Flagship, and elsewhere, to confirm that the addition of GRMs provides benefits to many applications in the aerospace, automotive, energy and leisure industries."

Galiotis expresses particular interest in the review's analysis of the best ways to process GRMs into composites, the effect of this on the overall composite performance, and the challenges scientists face in the search for high performance composites. "Overall, I think this is a timely review article for the composites field, which should be read with interest by all parties involved with composite development and usage," he concludes.

 

Andrea C. Ferrari, Science and Technology Officer of the Graphene Flagship and Chair of its Management Panel, comments: "This paper shows the leadership of large corporations and small enterprises, all partners of the Graphene Flagship, in taking graphene composites to the market in the next few years. This yet again shows the steady progress of the Graphene Flagship along its technology and innovation roadmap."

Tags:  Aerospace  Airbus  Andrea C. Ferrari  Automotive  Avanzare  Brunetto Martorana  composites  Costas Galiotis  Fiat-Chrysler  Francesco Bertocchi  Graphene  Graphene Flagship  Nanesa  Tamara Blanco-Varela  Vincenzo Palermo 

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Haydale Awarded Funding to Develop Non-Metallic Gas Tanks for Spacecraft Propulsion Systems

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2019

Haydale has been awarded a technology de-risking project by the European Space Agency (ESA), to develop non-metallic gas tanks for spacecraft propulsion systems. This activity is alongside ISP International Space Propulsion Ltd through the ESA ARTES Competitiveness & Growth, in conjunction with UK Space Agency.

The recent market growth of small spacecraft constellations has created a challenge within the existing space propulsion supply chain for low-cost reliable components, which meet the rapid delivery schedule and support the on-going reduction of orbital debris. With the constellation market set to increase rapidly, the development of components that meet these criteria is critical. Haydale’s non-metallic system offers a low-cost alternative with reduced lead time that can be offered in a wider range of configurations to exactly suit the end user requirement.



This award follows on from the successful outcome of the GSTP project in 2018 performed with ESA and the UK Space Agency (UKSA) entitled “Assessments to Prepare and De-Risk Technology Developments - Tank using Advanced Composites.” This latest project will see Haydale develop findings from the GSTP project, performing comprehensive tests to determine the best material and process for developing non-metallic gas tanks.

Upon careful consideration and selection of both material and process, Haydale will formulate and model a largely de-risked tank, prior to the manufacture of development models for full testing. This will result in the qualification for specific Spacecraft Propulsion Systems. 

The role of this equipment is to store pressurised gas in a location onboard the spacecraft platform, in a manner that is intrinsically safe, and offers reliable provision of stored media, as and when required by the system. Within this equipment, the product will offer; leak-free storage and delivery on demand of all propellant and pressurised gases stored within, under specified environmental conditions and expected transient load cases; high pressure storage capabilities, with required levels of safety and reliability; highly reliable connections to the feed system and mechanical mounting; 

Prominent producers of Satellite technology have been identified and are engaged in developing the specification and tank design for eventual manufacture and deployment.

Keith Broadbent, CEO, Haydale, said: “This funding will allow Haydale to develop existing knowledge in the space industry and we look forward to developing the technology alongside our partners. We are pleased to have gained the support of the Airbus DS Tank Product Group who are interested in the development of competitive non-conventional pressure vessel products, and can provide clear design drivers thanks to their invaluable expertise. With the UK space market growing, Haydale is delighted to be part of this progression.”

Tags:  Aerospace  Airbus  Graphene  Haydale  Keith Broadbent 

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World’s First Graphene Skinned Plane

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Monday, August 13, 2018

 

 

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) made an announcement about the recent unveiling of the world’s first graphene skinned plane at the internationally renowned Farnborough air show.

 

Haydale, (AIM: HAYD), the global advanced materials group, has supplied graphene enhanced prepreg material for Juno, a three-metre wide graphene-enhanced composite skinned aircraft, that was revealed as part of the ‘Futures Day’ at Farnborough Air Show 2018.

 

The prepreg material, developed by Haydale, has potential value for fuselage and wing surfaces in larger scale aero and space applications especially for the rapidly expanding drone market and, in the longer term, the commercial aerospace sector. By incorporating functionalised nanoparticles into epoxy resins, the electrical conductivity of fibre-reinforced composites has been significantly improved for lightning-strike protection, thereby achieving substantial weight saving and removing some manufacturing complexities. 

 

The Juno project, led by UCLAN, has been an ideal demonstration for the viability of the prepreg material for structural applications and the ability to manufacture components using traditional composite manufacturing methods. Further developments are underway to produce the next iteration of lightning strike protection materials based on these nano-carbon enhanced prepregs.

 

This technology also has performance benefits for a wide range of applications and industries including large offshore wind turbines, marine, oil and gas, and electronics and control systems.

 

Haydale worked with the aerospace engineering team at University of Central Lancashire, Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute to develop the unmanned aerial vehicle, that also includes graphene batteries and 3D printed parts.

 

Ray Gibbs, Haydale CEO, said: “We are delighted to be part of the project team. Juno has highlighted the capability and benefit of using graphene properly dispersed into composite materials to meet key issues faced by the market, such as reducing weight to increase range, defeating lightning strike and protecting aircraft skins against ice build-up.”

 

David Banks, Haydale Chairman, said: “The unveiling of this plane shows how the use of graphene can offer great benefit to the aerospace industry, highlighting the potential near term commercial impact of graphene within this significant market.”

Tags:  Aerospace  composite  functionalized graphene  Haydale  Juno  Prepreg  UCLAN  University of Central Lancashire 

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