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CenoStar and XG Sciences Partner to Deliver Graphene-Enhanced Concrete

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, October 7, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2019

XG Sciences, Inc., a market leader in the design and manufacture of graphene nanoplatelets and advanced materials containing graphene nanoplatelets, announced today the signing of a distribution agreement with CenoStar, a global provider of functional fillers. Under the agreement, CenoStar will leverage its knowledge and market channel in various end-use markets for cement additives in the distribution of XG Sciences’ XG Concrete™, an additive with demonstrated performance in extending lifetime and strength in cement through reduced moisture absorption, crack propagation and gas permeability while increasing resistance to acid attack and freeze-thaw performance.  XG Concrete is another example of XG Sciences’ graphene nanoplatelets bringing advanced material design to a large global market. 

First isolated and characterized in 2004, graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms configured in an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice. Among many noted properties, monolayer graphene is harder than diamonds, lighter than steel but significantly stronger, and conducts electricity better than copper. Graphene nanoplatelets are particles consisting of multiple layers of graphene. Graphene nanoplatelets have unique capabilities for energy storage, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, barrier properties, lubricity and the ability to impart physical property improvements when incorporated into plastics, metals or other matrices.

“Commercial demand for graphene is growing rapidly. This agreement allows both parties to leverage their strengths and bring improved performance to new and existing applications in the cement market – it’s an ideal combination of complimentary capabilities. XG Sciences brings advanced materials expertise through its graphene nanoplatelet technology and their use in XG Concrete, delivering improved performance and ease of adoption in cementitious applications. CenoStar brings in-depth expertise in understanding the needs of the concrete industry. We can advise our customers how to best leverage the performance of XG Concrete in meeting their unique performance requirements and deliver a better product to their end users,” said Roger Foster, CEO, CenoStar.

“We are pleased to announce this relationship,” said Bamidele Ali, Chief Commercial Officer. “CenoStar has extensive know-how in the concrete market and is well positioned to help their customers leverage the power of graphene to deliver on improved performance in important end-use markets.”

Tags:  Bamidele Ali  CenoStar  Concrete  Graphene  Roger Foster  XG Sciences 

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Press Release- URBIX Graphene Enhanced Concrete

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Phoenix, Arizona, October 9, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Urbix Resources, an advanced graphite company based in Mesa, Arizona, has produced the first economically viable graphene-enhanced lightweight concrete, an achievement that represents an industry breakthrough.

Designed in collaboration with one of the world’s largest producers of lightweight concrete, Urbix’s solution delivers material performance improvements, but at a cost that is lower than current lightweight concrete alternatives. A graphene industry first.

Others have tested graphene as an additive in cements and concrete in the past, seeking to improve a variety of concrete’s performance characteristics. Urbix’s research and development team solved the challenge by creating what they call a Graphenesque™ additive that provides a 33 percent increase in compressive strength, a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, and at a cost that is 16.6 percent lower than the next best lightweight concrete alternative on the market.

“It is ultimately the cost of the additive versus benefits of performance that have to be compared with any incumbent technology, especially graphene products,” explains Urbix Chairman Nicolas Cuevas. “That cost versus benefit is the real barrier that’s been keeping graphene out of commercial products until now.”

Urbix is known primarily for its low cost and environmentally friendly flake graphite purification for li-ion batteries, but is quickly establishing itself as one of the premier vertically integrated providers of graphene and Graphenesque™ products.

“The material performance of our solution for lightweight concrete is great,” says Urbix Chief Marketing Officer Adam Small. “But the low costs and large-scale capabilities are what makes this achievement so profound. By leveraging our existing global graphite mining relationships, we offer near vertical integration, an aspect that is almost mandatory for any company entering the graphene space.”

The additive is made in a way that is similar in infrastructure to Urbix’s proprietary purification process, for which a full-scale plant is currently being developed in the Phoenix area. At pilot scale production, it is expected the plant will be capable of producing in excess of 100 metric tons of the concrete additive monthly by the end of 2019. For reference, that amount will be enough material to produce between 10,000 and 40,000 metric tons of the new Urbix-enhanced lightweight concrete. This production figure will be scaled significantly higher beyond 2020.

At present, testing and certification continues. Urbix and their associates anticipate that they will bring the technology to market in 2020.


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CONTACT: Linda Richards, Urbix Resources                        pr@grupourbix.com
(805) 459-1550                                                                            UrbixResources.com

Tags:  cement  concrete  Urbix 

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Graphene Supercharges Concrete, Altering the Construction Industry

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Graphene often gets discussed in gee-whiz applications like post-CMOS electronics, or solar cells  that can provide extremely high electricity-to-light conversion ratios.

However, it is perhaps in the more mundane aspects of our world that graphene is providing an important impact. The perfect example of this is graphene in concrete—a material that has been with us since the ancient Romans. In a feature at the beginning of the year, The Graphene Council reported on how the addition of graphene oxide is providing concrete with greater compressive and tensile strength

Now researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK have developed a technique for adding graphene to concrete that provides such a wide gamut of new and improved properties that some are predicting that it could revolutionize the construction industry. 

In research described in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the University of Exeter researchers demonstrated that the addition of graphene to concrete could improve the material’s compressive strength by 149 percent. This compressive strength increase was accompanied with a 79 per cent increase in flexural strength, a 400 per cent decrease in water permeability, and improved electrical and thermal performance.

The key to this development is that it is completely compatible with today’s large-scale production of concrete. It simply involves suspending atomically thin graphene in water. The resulting process keeps costs low and results in very few defects in the end product

“This ground-breaking research is important as it can be applied to large-scale manufacturing and construction,” said Dimitar Dimov, a PhD student at the University of Exeter and the lead author of the research. “The industry has to be modernized by incorporating not only off-site manufacturing, but innovative new materials as well.”

What may grab the headlines beyond its improved properties is that the graphene-enabled concreted appeals to so-called green manufacturing.

“By including graphene we can reduce the amount of materials required to make concrete by around 50 per cent — leading to a significant reduction of 446 kilograms per ton of the carbon emissions,” said Monica Craciun, professor at Exeter and co-author of the research. “This unprecedented range of functionalities and properties uncovered are an important step in encouraging a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly construction industry worldwide.”

Tags:  CMOS  Concrete  construction  solar cells 

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Concrete Graphene Applications, Literally!

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Advanced materials company, First Graphene Limited (ASX: FGR) is working with the University of Adelaide (UoA) on graphene for industrial building products.

Graphene in Concrete

Experiments have been conducted on the use of graphene oxide (GO) being added to concrete to improve both compressive and tensile strength. However the hydrophilic and high resistivity nature of GO limits its applications in things such as ‘smart’ cement.

Due to the high aspect ratio of nano-reinforcements such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, they have the ability to arrest crack propagation in concrete (by controlling the nano-sized cracks before they form micro-sized cracks) and hence greatly improve peak toughness, making them more effective than even conventional steel bar or fibre reinforcements.

Premium Concrete Products – Smart Cement

Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) operates at such a high-performance level that it competes with steel rather than regular concrete grades. Advantages include lower lead times compared to steel. UHPC can cost in excess of $500/tonne, with enhancements such as micro-reinforcements further increasing the price.

Due to the immense importance of compression strength and other factors such as blast, ballistic and earthquake resistance, additive premiums can be significant. UHPC is over an order of magnitude more expensive than regular concrete, but in an environment where material usage and weight are such essential considerations, it can actually be cheaper to use the more expensive grades in the long run, especially factoring in the reduced maintenance costs incurred by UHPC.

The UoA is testing FGR graphene, with the aim of making “smart cement” with conductive graphene flakes which may;

i. address the concerns of cracking and corrosion, and
ii. provide conductivity for better monitoring the health of concrete structures.

The first test results indicate the addition of just 0.03% standard graphene by weight is the optimal quantity of graphene from the test conducted to date, showing a 22 - 23 % increase in compressive and tensile strength, respectively. The addition of more standard graphene does not increase or decrease the strength of the concrete material when compared to the control in this test work.

Promising Results with Favourable Economics

This initial work has yielded very promising results with very small amounts of FGR graphene required to greatly increase the strength of the materials. Determining the optimum mixing methods and concentration to develop a consistent material will be the key to further developing this project.

The focus of the next stage of the work will be trialling other concentrations of graphene in concrete, specifically loading at 0.01% and 0.1% graphene, and optimisation of the mixing procedures. New methods of incorporating graphene into the concrete mixture will also be trialled.

The graphene provided by FGR will have a range of aspect ratios (smaller sheet sizes) and will be tested over the full range of concentrations. It is anticipated this material will better disperse within the concrete mixture and therefore provide further mechanical strength improvements.

The concrete admixtures market is estimated to be worth US$18.10bn by 2020. The drivers identified for the concrete admixtures demand are growing infrastructure requirements in developing economies, improving economics of construction, and shifting preferences of population towards urbanisation.

 

Tags:  Concrete  First Graphene  Graphene  University of Adelaide 

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