Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
Graphene Updates
Blog Home All Blogs

The University of Manchester Joins The Graphene Council

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) becomes the newest member of The Graphene Council

The University of Manchester is home to two world-class, multi-million pound centres for the research and development of graphenerelated materials and applications. In particular, the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) specialises in the rapid development and scale up of graphene and other 2D materials applications, with a focus on: 

• Composites
• Energy
• Membranes
• Inks, Formulations and Coatings
• Graphene production
• Measurements and characterisation

The mission of the GEIC is to help accelerate the transfer of university based research and knowledge into real world commercial applications and is a key player in the UK’s overall initiative to create the world’s most advanced graphene ecosystem. 

James Baker, CEO at Graphene@Manchester stated: “We have decided to become a member of The Graphene Council because of a shared mission to help advance the commercial adoption of graphene as an industrial material, and because The Graphene Council compliments the efforts of the GEIC to help inform important industry sectors like composites, plastics, energy storage, sensors, coatings and many others. We look forward to working together with The Graphene Council as graphene reaches a critical tipping point over the next 12-18 months.”

The Graphene Council is the largest, independent community in the world for graphene researchers, application developers and commercial professionals reaching more than 25,000 individuals and companies globally. 

Terrance Barkan CAE, Executive Director of The Graphene Council said: “We are very honoured to be affiliated with the GEIC and The University of Manchester as the home of graphene’s discovery and where such important work on this material continues apace.

The development of graphene into a world-class commercial material will require the coordinated efforts of the entire supply chain so that the amazing properties of this material can be leveraged for a new generation of products and application that are more effective, longer lasting and much more sustainable for our planet.” 

If your organization would like to learn more about how to leverage the capabilities of graphene materials, please contact graphene.manchester.ac.uk or Terrance Barkan at tbarkan@thegraphenecouncil.org.

***

Listen to the recent Graphene Talk Podcast interview between The Graphene Council and James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester about the state of graphene commercialization and application development. 

 

Tags:  Commercialization  GEIC  James Baker  University of Manchester 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC) opens to accelerate the commercialization of graphene materials

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Friday, December 14, 2018

 

 

The Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC) is a £60 million facility that specialises in the development and scale-up of graphene and other 2D materials for industrial purposes.

 

As the home of industry-led innovation with graphene and 2D materials at the University of Manchester, work at the GEIC is focused around creating, testing and optimisining new concepts for delivering products to market as well as the processes needed to scale up production and build and maintain a supply chain.

 

Working with the National Graphene Institute, the GEIC complements their research with work in six key areas of focus:

  • Composites
  • Energy
  • Membranes
  • Inks, formulations and coatings
  • Graphene production and pilot facility
  • Measurements and characterisation 

Why is this important?

 

The GEIC facility makes industry standard equipment available for rapid prototyping and testing, allowing companies (especially those that do not have multi-million dollar R&D facilities) to develop cutting edge graphene enhanced products with less risk and on an accelerated schedule. 

 

Equally important, the GEIC facility is housed on the Univeristy of Manchester's campus, providing easy access to the world's leading graphene research team of PhD's and experts. 

 

Working with The Graphene Council and the GEIC

 

The Graphene Council is an Affiliate Member of the GEIC and has UK based colleagues that can help you take your graphene innovation ideas from concept to prototype on an accelerated pace. Getting to market faster saves you time and money while providing a competitive advantage.

 

Using our extensive knowledge and graphene market insights, we can help you to craft a graphene innovation strategy. The Graphene Council can then help you realize this strategy through the use of development facilities, like the GEIC, and by leveraging our close relationships with the leading graphene producers around the world. 

 

Contact Us

 

If you would like help, whether it is to find the right graphene material supplier or support to bring your graphene innovation to life, contact us here by defining your requirement: http://bit.ly/GrapheneSolution

 

About The Graphene Council - We are the largest community in the world for graphene professionals that includes graphene producers, academics, standards developers, users and application developers. 

Tags:    Composites    GEIC    Graphene    Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre    Innovation    University of Manchester    UoM  Commercialization 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene is Coming of Age

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

 

Quietly, behind the scenes and under the cover of NDA’s and confidentiality agreements, graphene is making significant commercial advances. 

Speaking with graphene producers, the story this year has been consistent; they are selling material but they are unable to publicly disclose the end-users or the application areas due to the commercially sensitive information and the desire for their customers to maintain a first mover advantage. 

So how do you promote a material for which there are limited examples and the customers will not agree to be named or to allow the products to be disclosed? 

Based on conversations with producers, we know enough to be able to say with confidence that the majority of the material being sold is “bulk” graphene; this refers to graphene nano particles (GNPs), graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO), graphene powders, graphene in suspension and graphene sold in master batches. 

We know that the lion’s share of the market is for nanocomposite materials based on surveys of more than 400 graphene application developers, producers and end-users. In fact it is more than 50% of the total current market. 

These applications include the use of graphene in plastics, polymers, 3D printing, rubber, with carbon fibers and CNTs, as well as in concrete and steel applications. 

We also know that virtually every major bona fide graphene producer has announced or has indicated a significant production capacity increase for 2017, 2018 or 2019 at the latest, based on the market pull through for the material. 

And this progress is not limited just to bulk graphene but also to single layer CVD graphene as well with the recent ability to produce wafer sized products at a dramatically reduced price compared to just 1 year prior. 

How do we take the next steps towards greater commercialization? 

The Graphene Council is working with vertical industries, like the composites sector, to help educate and inform those companies that would be the largest buyers and users of this material about how graphene enhances or enables better solutions (strength, flexibility, conductivity, wear resistance, thermal properties, etc.). 

We see our mission as being a catalyst to help raise the level of awareness in the end-user community about the possibilities that graphene offers and to dispel some of the myths that have been created from the over-hyped expectations of the past few years. 

In a recent review of more than 60 graphene products, more than 45 different material characteristics were listed by at least one of the materials studied. Yet not one single characteristic (not the carbon content, not the carbon layer count, etc.) was common across every product. In fact, there was not a single material characteristic as listed on the specifications sheets that was shared by more than 75% of the products listed. 

It is impossible for a buyer of graphene to be able to compare products based on the spec sheets alone and it is prohibitively expensive to expect the consumer to test each supplier’s material to just know what they are getting. 

As a result, we see a tremendous need to help buyers identify trusted suppliers of quality materials.

As we enter 2018, The Graphene Council will focus on accelerating the commercial adoption of graphene and representing the interests of our members by;

a.) educating targeted industries like composites, coatings, energy storage, etc.,

b.) continuing the development of graphene standards through our work with ISO/ANSI/IEC,

c.) launching a Verified Graphene Producers program. 

We encourage graphene professionals, researchers, producing companies and universities to join The Graphene Council.

Your membership will help support our mission of education and the creation of a global graphene industry. 

 

For information on how to join, visit here

 

 

Tags:  Commercialization  Graphene 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene Commercialization is closer than you think.

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Friday, October 21, 2016

When we conducted our survey of more than 400 graphene researchers, developers, producers and users earlier this year, less than 10% thought that graphene was a sustainable commercial market today. However, almost 2/3’s felt that graphene would develop into a sustainable commercial market in 6 years or less. (Survey 2016)

 

Based on the feedback and discussions at the Graphene Canada 2016 conference held in Montreal recently, graphene commercialization is a lot closer than most people are aware. 

 

Because graphene has properties that can be applied to such a wide range of potential applications, it is not always easy to see where this material is already being used or where development is most advanced. 

 

A graphene “killer application”?

 

There has been a lot of hype around graphene because of its superlative properties and the promise it holds for radical or revolutionary new applications, products and solutions.

 

There has been an equal measure of disappointment that it has not yet produced a “killer application”, a solution that solves a major problem that is possible because of graphene’s unique properties. 

 

The less sexy, but much more likely path to successful commercialization of graphene, lies in its use in more traditional materials like composites, thermosets (such as epoxies, polyurethane and polyester) and plastics. 

 

For example, Huntsman Advanced Materials (a division of the Huntsman Corporation, a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals with $10 billion in revenues) is working with graphene specialist firm Haydale to develop graphene enhanced ARALDITE® resins for composite applications. These products are used in the industrial composites, automotive and aerospace markets.

 

 

Huntsman's ARALDITE® resins are being enhanced using Haydale’s expertise in functionalisation of Graphene Nano Platelets (GNP’S) and other nano materials to create highly loaded master batches and to improve thermal / electrical conductivity and mechanical performance. The ultimate objective of the collaboration will be to commercialise graphene enhanced ARALDITE® resins for a range of applications in the

composites market.

 

It is telling that Huntsman, a company whose chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide, has identified graphene as a critical new additive to enhance one of their most important industrial products. 

 

The global polymer market alone is worth at least $658 billion. Even if only a small percentage of this market begins using graphene as a standard additive to improve product performance, it will help support a viable market for graphene producers and formulators. 

 

Better Together

 

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D Printing, is a relatively new and exciting area of activity that is revolutionizing how objects are designed, prototyped and made. It is also a perfect example of how graphene can be used in combination with other traditional materials to create new capabilities and products. 

 

There are already three companies that offer graphene impregnated 3D printing filaments (Haydale, Graphene 3d Labs and Directa Plus) that are in turn letting creative designers develop products that are electrically conductive or that have superior physical properties (stronger, scratch resistant, better UV protections, etc.). 

 

Graphene is added to traditional polymers, paints and coatings to change their performance characteristics. Another company, NanoXplore is producing products as far ranging as specialty paints to fishing buoys (floats that are used in conjunction with fishing nets, crab pots, and related applications) that use graphene to make these products more robust and survivable in very harsh marine environments. 

 

 

What is unique about graphene is that it can make a significant improvement with very small loadings (as little as 1% or less) as compared to competing materials that may require as much as 25-30% loads to make significant performance differences. 

 

What this means is that although graphene materials are currently quite expensive per gram or kilogram, the very low loading levels makes graphene a competitive additive on a cost / benefit basis. 

 

The Future

 

It is difficult to overstate the enormous potential graphene holds to impact an almost unlimited range of industrial sectors, from water treatment to aerospace, from opto-electrical sensors to energy storage, from bio-medical applications to basic materials. 

 

So while university scientists and corporate research and development departments around the world continue to work on the more complicated problems where graphene might disrupt industries like semi-conductors or new generation photocells, graphene is proving its worth in somewhat mundane but equally important industrial materials applications. 

 

Tags:  3D Printing  Commercialization  Directa Plus  Fullerex  Graphene 3d Labs  Haydale  Huntsman  NanoXplore  Paints 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Graphene Supply Chain is Maturing, But It Still Needs Some Guidance

Posted By Dexter Johnson, Friday, August 26, 2016

An interview with the Tom Eldridge, Director of UK-based Fullerex Limited

 

One of the big stories for graphene going forward is the continued maturation of its supply chain. 

 

Producers of graphene are getting better at understanding not only how to make graphene more cost effectively and with a higher quality, but also are figuring out what kind of graphene to make. The intermediaries—the companies that functionalize graphene and have the knowhow to disperse it in a material matrix—are gaining a more defined role in the supply chain. And finally, the companies who are trying to make something out of graphene, like a tennis racquet, or a supercapacitor, are developing a greater sense of trust in the supply chain.

 

One company that has been at the forefront of securing that supply chain is UK-based Fullerex Limited. Fullerex helps both ends of the supply chain work out how unmet needs can be satisfied. 

 

In this interview we discuss with the director of Fullerex, Tom Eldridge, the nature of the company’s business and how sees the market developing over the short term.

 

Q: For people that come to The Graphene Council website, they may be familiar with Fullerex’s pricing index and your Bulk Graphene Pricing Report, but that is only a small part of your business, correct? Could you describe what service Fullerex provides and to whom?

 

Our main activity as a business includes providing a brokering service for advanced materials and technology, specializing in nanomaterials and nano-intermediates. The company has twenty partners worldwide, which it represents on an agency basis. These firms include producers of various nanomaterials such as novel carbon allotropes for example fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and graphene and also technology solutions providers related to the downstream processing of these materials.

 

Fullerex supports these strategically placed partners in developing the market for their products and technologies by identifying suitable collaborators and potential early adopters in industry. Typically we help end-users looking to address an unmet need through material innovations. We are able to generate interest in trialing and testing certain nanomaterial types and key enabling technologies by making introductions between the right people.

 

The annual graphene pricing report forms part of our ancillary services. Fullerex first released the Bulk Graphene Pricing Report in 2014, which has now seen three editions with continual updates each year to the data and analysis contained within the pricing study.

 

Q: It would seem then that you enable both graphene producers and the end users to better understand what kind of graphene might best work for each potential application, correct?

 

Our value proposition is to accelerate growth in the market for materials such as graphene. This not only entails understanding the potential applications for graphene and finding end-users that are committed to materials R&D but yes, also having knowledge of the relevant types of graphene for those uses. Producers themselves have differing degrees of expertise between them when it comes to certain application areas.

 

A core role of Fullerex is to select the technical expertise and materials from our range of partners to best meet the requirements of a given end-user. In addition, a critically important component of pre-screening these opportunities involves understanding the cost implications and whether the use of graphene makes sense for the target market. These technical and commercial considerations combined are at the forefront of the decision making and strategy for our business.

 

Q: What range of applications for graphene do you offer for this kind of service? Could you provide some examples of the kind of information that it is important for both graphene producers and end users to understand before the material can be effectively applied?

 

Graphene can be very broadly thought of as supplied in two main material forms: as a powder or as a continuous thin film. Fullerex focuses very much on the former type of product. By adding the graphene powder to various base materials you can improve properties of the base material or add properties that perhaps were not there before, creating multifunctional materials.

 

The markets for this type of graphene include polymers and composites, coatings, inks, lubricating oils, construction materials etc. For an effective application it is important to establish what performance goals the end-user is looking to achieve and for what purpose, what is the price sensitivity of the target market and what are the potential quantity demands if the new product is successfully developed. Essentially, is there a good business case?

 

Q: Where is the biggest gap in information? Do the producers not understand how their product should be targeted or are the end users lacking an understanding of the kind of graphene that will work for them?

 

There are information gaps on both sides. Many potential end-users are simply not aware of all the potential applications for graphene and remain unconvinced until a producer can demonstrate clear advantages with a product that can be easily trialed, that is compatible with existing manufacturing processes and does not require significant investment to implement (by acquiring new technical capabilities in terms of equipment or expertise). To get to this stage takes development work which some end-users may be prepared to fund to generate unique IP but for the most part, it is expected of the producer to build that capability internally or through its close network and partnerships.

 

Q: Further to the previous information gap question, how do you see the investment community at this point when it comes to graphene? Are you explaining what it is and what it can do for them, or are you discussing investment opportunity points with them?

 

Our client base is exclusively comprised of commercial enterprises and not members of the investment community. However, as a general comment, one aspect of business strategy for graphene companies which may have an impact in terms of attracting investors is the potential to position the business either in terms of offering a product geared towards a particular market or offering a platform technology with wider scope than just one application.

 

This comes back to expertise, since to focus on one application area in particular may make it quicker and easier to develop those applications and demonstrate a clear advantage to potential customers but it also narrows the addressable market for the business and therefore may remain interesting only to certain investors looking in that area.

 

Q: At this point, do you have a breakdown of the graphene market, i.e. how much graphene is being sold worldwide and how that amount breaks down into material types and appropriate applications?

 

The analysis that we have carried out for our pricing report extends to including some top line figures about the market in terms of the overall market size and segmentation between bulk graphene and graphene thin films.

 

Q: As this market stands now, what application area do you see as being the most successful today? And where do you see the most promise in the near term of the next five years?

 

The first commercial applications have arrived in the form of sporting goods ranging from tennis rackets, skis, bicycle tires and sports clothing. The criticism often laid against these examples is that consumer products can be marketed successfully on perceived advantages rather than necessarily offering any demonstrable improvement.

 

Industrial applications on the other hand are more uncompromising and certainly demand an obvious cost-benefit. As such there are fewer examples of this kind to point towards. Industry uses are starting to emerge however and I see polymer applications being the area, which will bring the majority of uses for graphene over the next few years, in plastics, composites, coatings and 3D printing in particular.

 

Q: Based on your work, what would be some of the key points of advice you would pass on to producers and end users to start exploiting graphene to its full potential?

 

Collaboration is key, whether that is between graphene producers and early adopters, enabling technology companies, manufacturing partners, or academia. Applications cannot be developed unless there are all the right elements of the value chain in sync. Moving towards large-scale adoption of the technology requires consistency in supply and this is one of the reasons there is such a strong focus on characterization and standards across the emerging industry. This is an international effort.

 

Finally, graphene has such unique properties with potential to make a positive impact in economic terms and societal terms across so many areas that it is important to engage as many relevant organizations as possible to build the community of stakeholders.

 

Tags:  Commercialization  Fullerex  Graphene  Products 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)