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Nano-enhanced Boots Successfully Passed Safety Tests

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, October 14, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
First Graphene, in collaboration with Steel Blue, has successfully completed safety tests for graphene-enhanced boots which will be used in various industrial sectors. This is the first time that graphene has been used successfully in thermoplastic polyurethane masterbatch, which presents considerable benefits including improved wear and chemical resistance, enhanced heat transfer, and reduced permeability.

This is the first time that graphene has successfully been incorporated into a thermoplastic polyurethane masterbatch and offers considerable advantages, including even greater wear and chemical resistance, better thermal heat transfer and reduced permeability.

Steel Blue is a major global manufacturer of work boots, with a reputation for innovative design to improve comfort, durability and safety. The adoption of graphene to boost these features still further is a continuation of this philosophy, as Chief Executive Officer, Garry Johnson, explains, “Steel Blue is committed to developing innovative solutions for our customers. We’re excited by these recent developments with First Graphene and look forward to delivering these solutions to our market.”

The prototype boots have been manufactured using First Graphene’s PureGRAPH 10 graphene powder. Unlike competing formulations, this is available in high production volumes with non-aggregated, uniform sized graphene nanoplatelets; this ensures that it disperses evenly in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) masterbatches.

The prototype boots incorporate PureGRAPH-infused TPU soles and polyurethane foam innersoles and will now undergo extensive laboratory testing, followed by field trials. Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene said, “The development work with Steel Blue provides yet another example of how we’re working with customers to commercialise the development of graphene, to transform the properties of materials used in many different applications, from elastomers and composites, to concrete and specialised industrial coatings.”

Tags:  coatings  composites  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Garry Johnson  Graphene  graphene enhanced polymer  Steel Blue 

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UK's National Grid Verifies Viability of Graphene Composite Application

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Updated: Monday, May 20, 2019
Haydale plc has been working with the UK's National Grid to calculate the benefit case of its Composite Transition Piece (CTP), using a method developed by National Grid and verified by PwC during a previous audit. This approach provides a risk rating for the benefits. In this case the risk was assessed by National Grid as ‘low’, meaning that National Grid can have a high level of confidence in the results it will achieve.

There are around 300 locations on the National Transmission System in the UK where gas pipes pass through reinforced concrete walls, for example into valve pits. Currently, several types of seal are used to prevent contamination by water or soil, but when these seals fail technicians face a major task to fix the problem.

National Grid has found that Haydale’s CTP represents a huge step forward in safety and efficiency, solving a major problem for the national gas transmission network at a reduced cost over the system’s life-time. The solution allows easy access to transition pipes at pit wall transitions for inspection and maintenance. Working in conjunction with National Grid, the innovative CTP seal units can be used to plug the gap between the pipe and the wall. It means that technicians can easily remove the unit and check the pipe for corrosion or damage. The CTP can then be replaced quickly in one simple operation.

Financially, the benefits of installing a CTP are significant especially when viewed over the entire design life of the unit. Taking less time to inspect the pit wall area with a CTP fitted means that just under £230k could be saved over a design life of 50 years per unit installed. This is comparing an inspection using the traditional methods with the composite solution.

In addition to the cost benefits, National Grid estimates that 700 fewer hours of ‘at risk’ activities will be needed for each CTP during its design life. Working on the pit wall requires technicians to work inside a pit which may be several meters deep. Benefits can be tracked after the first inspection and continue for the entire design life of 50 years per unit, this can subsequently be extended further following a simple replacement of the seal around the CTP.

There are also environmental benefits and National Grid have calculated that the new approach will save 12 tonnes of carbon equivalent (CO2e) for each CTP over its 50-year lifespan. This is determined by examining tasks such as excavating soil to expose the pit wall and generator power needed on site for the duration of the works

Two key compressor sites have already undergone large-scale works where National Grid have utilised the new CTPs. In total, eight new CTPs have been pre-fabricated and will be installed during the construction of the pit wall, further reducing installation costs. These units, along with one that was installed as part of the original trial, will start to provide benefits after their first inspections.

David Banks, Chairman at Haydale, commented: “With 9 CTPs planned for installation by the end of 2019, we look forward to seeing the benefits realised by National Grid. We look forward to continuing our work with the utilities industry, where the benefit of both composite materials and graphene are now being appreciated.”

Keith Broadbent, CEO at Haydale, commented: “Haydale is pleased to be working with National Grid on this system which is a huge step forward in safety and efficiency for the gas network. With £228,000 average savings per CTP design life and 700 fewer hours carrying out ‘at risk’ activities for each CTP over 50-year period, it is clear to see the benefit that the system offers to the customer.We look forward to working with gas infrastructure owners worldwide who can also benefit from
the product.”

Paul Ogden, Senior Civil Engineer at National Grid, commented: “Over a six-year period, National Grid expects to install about 60 CTPs on the National Transmission System. This will significantly improve safety as well as creating savings of up to £5 million in the next five to 10 years.”

Tags:  composites  David Banks  Graphene  Haydale  Keith Broadbent  National Grid  Paul Ogden 

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Leading Supplier to Composites Companies Adds Graphene to Its Portfolio

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Friday, February 1, 2019

 

 

As an association trying to support and promote the use of graphene over the last half-decade, The Graphene Council has rightly focused on the interests and developments of the graphene research community as well as those companies marketing graphene materials. In addition, the Council has also sought to serve as an educational platform to help inform other vertical industries about the impact graphene can make on their businesses.

The Graphene Council recently got a boost to its knowledge base on how graphene is perceived by its largest commercial market: composites. Composites Onethe leading supplier in North America of materials and solutions to advanced composites manufacturers, recently joined The Graphene Council as a corporate member. Composites One positions itself as a team of composites experts that can provide insights on the latest advanced materials ranging from advanced fibers, to high-performance thermosets and thermoplastic systems, prepregs, and specialty core materials. The Graphene Council believes Composites One's expertise should reinforce its own knowledge that can then be distributed throughout our community.

To start this knowledge sharing, we took the opportunity to ask Jason Gibson, the Chief Applications Engineer at Composites One, a little bit about their business, how they came to graphene and what kind of outlook the company has for graphene in the composites market.

Q: Could you tell us a bit more about Composites One business, i.e. what kind of composites are you making and for what applications?

A: As North America’s leading provider of solutions for advanced composites manufacturers, Composites One stands ready to assist you, whatever your needs. We utilize the broadest portfolio of advanced raw materials to build comprehensive solutions, bringing you multiple options to meet your needs. Composites One supports our offering with strong technical expertise, along with local service and storage for reduced lead times. We are uniquely capable of handling complex requirements.

Our network of 41 stocking centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, including AS9120 and prepreg freezer locations, along with local delivery on our own fleet of trucks, ensures that your products are there when you need them. All of this is supported by a dedicated team of advanced composites specialists and our 80+ local technical sales representatives.

Q: What are some of the more advanced materials that Composites One has investigated for possibly integrating into your composite offerings?

A: From advanced fibers, to high-performance thermoset and thermoplastic systems, prepregs, specialty core materials, and ancillary products, we have the broadest product offering in the industry.   Our Advanced Composites product managers are specialists in epoxy resin, prepreg, carbon fiber, high performance core, and many other advanced composites solutions.

Q: What made you consider using graphene as a material for your composites, i.e. have you seen other composite manufacturers employing the material, or is it simple due diligence for all emerging materials?

A: We have seen graphene enhance many of the physical properties across the portfolio of resin systems we distribute.  Specifically, we've seen improved toughness, modulus and strength improvements allowing us to fill the needs of engineers and designers at many of our customers.  Composites One focuses on evaluating and distributing cutting edge products that allow us to help our customers meet their goals of improved products.

Q: Can you outline the process by which you would need to test to see if graphene, or any other new material, could be, or should be, integrated into your composites?

A: Composites One works in partnership with our suppliers, industry organizations and academic resources to vet and validate many nano-particles, including graphene.  We maintain a portfolio of diverse nano-particle products that enable us to provide objective solutions to our customers' needs.  This allows us to focus on an optimized solution based on the unique requirements of our customer.

Q: Based on your initial impressions of graphene, where are you expecting the material to fit into your product offerings?

A: We offer graphene in masterbatch form in multiple resin platforms, but focused mainly in our epoxy offerings.  Loadings can vary depending on the desired end results, and offering the masterbatch in the resin side of the epoxy allows for alternative hardening and additive solutions.  We have seen these products have success in multiple markets including sports and recreation, oil and gas, automotive and aerospace.

Q: At this point, what seems to be the issues that remain unclear about graphene, i.e. industry standards, how it will actually integrate into your composites, etc.?

A: Implementing these products into an industrial manufacturing process can be difficult.  Composites One has extensive experience in the process-ability of the nanoparticle enhancements we offer.  We do this in order to help our customers get over the usual hurdle of incorporating it into their manufacturing process.  It can be difficult to implement these solutions and our breadth and depth of experience in this product lines allows us to partner with our customers and help them move forward with minimal difficulties.

Tags:  composites  Composites One  masterbatches  prepregs  thermosets 

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2D Fluidics Pty Ltd created to launch the Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD)

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Friday, June 22, 2018

 

Advanced materials company, First Graphene Limited (“FGR” or “the Company”) (ASX: FGR) is pleased to announce the launch of its 50%-owned associate company, 2D Fluidics Pty Ltd, in collaboration with Flinders University’s newly named Flinders Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology

 

The initial objective of 2D Fluidics will be the commercialisation of the Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD), invented by the Flinders Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology’s Professor Colin Raston. The VFD enables new approaches to producing a wide range of materials such as graphene and sliced carbon nanotubes, with the bonus of not needing to use harsh or toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process (which is required for conventional graphene and shortened carbon nanotube production). 

 

This clean processing breakthrough will also greatly reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of manufacturing these new high quality super-strength carbon materials. The key intellectual property used by 2D Fluidics comprises two patents around the production of carbon nanomaterials, assigned by Flinders University. 

 

2D Fluidics will use the VFD to prepare these materials for commercial sales, which will be used in the plastics industry for applications requiring new composite materials, and by the electronics industry for circuits, supercapacitors and batteries, and for research laboratories around the world.

 

2D Fluidics will also manufacture the VFD, which is expected to become an in-demand state-of-the-art research and teaching tool for thousands of universities worldwide, and should be a strong revenue source for the new company. 

 

Managing Director, Craig McGuckin said “First Graphene is very pleased to be partnering Professor Raston and his team in 2D Fluidics, which promises to open an exciting growth path in the world of advanced materials production. Access to this remarkably versatile invention will complement FGRs position as the leading graphene company at the forefront of the graphene revolution.” 

 

Professor Colin Raston AO FAA, Professor of Clean Technology, Flinders Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology, Flinders University said “The VFD is a game changer for many applications across the sciences, engineering and medicine, and the commercialisation of the device will have a big impact in the research and teaching arena,” Nano-carbon materials can replace metals in many products, as a new paradigm in manufacturing, and the commercial availability of such materials by 2D Fluidics will make a big impact. It also has exciting possibilities in industry for low cost production where the processing is under continuous flow, which addresses scaling up - often a bottleneck issue in translating processes into industry.

Tags:  2D Fluidics  batteries  Carbon Nanotubes  circuits  Composites  electronics  First Graphene  Graphene  Plastics  research laboratories  supercapacitors  Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD) 

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Graphene Council Champions Graphene Standards

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Graphene Council has consistently been spearheading the development of standards around graphene. This is for good reason.

Ask just about any company involved in bringing graphene and graphene-enabled products to market—as we have—and  you will quickly realize that all these organizations consider standardization of the material as a critical need for the wider adoption of graphene.

To further heighten awareness of this issue, The Graphene Council recently contributed an article  to The Graphene Technology Journal published by Springer and Nature in which we conducted an interview with Norbert Fabricius, who is one of the leading authorities on the development of standards around graphene.

Of course, we have also interviewed our own Executive Director, Terrance Barkan, on how the industry can collectively accelerate the development of standards for graphene.  

After all this effort, others are beginning to seek us out to learn more about the development of standards related to graphene. In an interview with SciTech Europa, Barkan provides an in-depth look at where standards for graphene are now and their importance going forward. 

In this interview, Barkan references the Global Graphene Industry Survey and Report produced by The Graphene Council that even two years after its publication remains the most extensive survey of producers and users of graphene. Barkan also references some of the recent groundbreaking work that the Council is doing in educating the industry into how graphene can best be used in composites and plastics.

It appears the word is getting out about the quality of the studies and projects the Council has undertaken over the years in leading industry efforts from standards to health and safety issues and promoting greater understanding of how graphene fits into the value chain of a range of industries

Tags:  composites  health and safety  plastics  Standards  survey 

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Manchester and INOV-8 create enhanced rubber sole for running shoes

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Monday, December 11, 2017

inov-8 is launching a revolutionary world-first in the sports footwear market following a unique collaboration with scientific experts. The British brand has teamed up with The University of Manchester to become the first-ever company to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes.

Laboratory tests have shown that the rubber outsoles of these shoes, new to market in 2018, are stronger, more stretchy and more resistant to wear.

Michael Price, inov-8 product and marketing director, said: “Off-road runners and fitness athletes live at the sporting extreme and need the stickiest outsole grip possible to optimize their performance, be that when running on wet trails or working out in sweaty gyms. For too long, they have had to compromise this need for grip with the knowledge that such rubber wears down quickly."

“Now, utilising the groundbreaking properties of graphene, there is no compromise. The new rubber we have developed with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester allows us to smash the limits of grip."

“Our lightweight G-Series shoes deliver a combination of traction, stretch and durability never seen before in sports footwear. 2018 will be the year of the world’s toughest grip.”

Commenting on the collaboration and the patent-pending technology, inov-8 CEO Ian Bailey said: “Product innovation is the number-one priority for our brand. It’s the only way we can compete against the major sports brands. The pioneering collaboration between inov-8 and the The University of Manchester puts us – and Britain – at the forefront of a graphene sports footwear revolution."

“And this is just the start, as the potential of graphene really is limitless. We are so excited to see where this journey will take us.”

The scientists who first isolated graphene were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 2010. Building on their revolutionary work, the team at The University of Manchester has pioneered projects into graphene-enhanced sports cars, medical devices and aeroplanes. Now the University can add sports footwear to its list of world-firsts.

Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Reader in Nanomaterials at the University of Manchester, said: “Despite being the thinnest material in the world, graphene is also the strongest, and is 200 times stronger than steel. It’s also extraordinarily flexible, and can be bent, twisted, folded and stretched without incurring any damage.

“When added to the rubber used in inov-8’s G-Series shoes, graphene imparts all its properties, including its strength. Our unique formulation makes these outsoles 50% stronger, 50% more stretchy and 50% more resistant to wear than the corresponding industry standard rubber without graphene.”

“The graphene-enhanced rubber can flex and grip to all surfaces more effectively, without wearing down quickly, providing reliably strong, long-lasting grip."

“This is a revolutionary consumer product that will have a huge impact on the sports footwear market.”

 

 

Tags:  Composites  Graphene  inov-8  Manchester  Rubber  Shoes  UoM 

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Versarien announces collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Versarien plc, an advanced materials engineering group, has announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries ("IAI") to enable both groups to work together to develop and test Versarien's proprietary Nanene few layer graphene nano-platelets in aerospace composite structures.

IAI is a world leader in both the defence and commercial markets, delivering state-of-the-art technologies and systems in the domains of: air, space, land, sea, cyber, homeland security and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

IAI has agreed to purchase Nanene from Versarien, in a variety of forms, which will then be incorporated into composite panels for testing and evaluation, with a view to developing commercial applications for the technology. The collaboration is additionally expected to incorporate discussions and work with IAI's supply chain.

Moshe Medina, EVP and General Manager of IAI's Engineering and Development Group, commented: "IAI looks forward to collaborating with Versarien on graphene based composites, which we believe will help us create stronger and multi-functional materials. It is an ongoing challenge to harnesses the excellent micro- properties of graphene for enhancement of our composites."

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "We are delighted to be working with IAI, a global leader in aerospace technologies, to incorporate our graphene into a variety of composite structures. We will be working closely with the teams at IAI and their suppliers to test and evaluate the benefits of adding graphene to a variety of composite structures.

"The agreement with IAI is a significant step forward for Versarien, our first graphene collaboration in the aerospace sector, but it is just one example of the global relationships we are developing. There is increasing interest in the benefits that high quality graphene, of the types manufactured by Versarien, can add to material properties and we look forward to announcing further collaborations in due course." 

Tags:  composites  few layer graphene nano-platelets  IAI  Israel Aerospace Industries  Nanene  Versarien 

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