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Australian produced graphene opens up lucrative US Market

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, July 1, 2020
First Graphene Limited, the world’s largest manufacturer of graphene products, today confirmed that its trademark, PureGRAPH® has successfully been accepted in the United States.

The development means that Australian produced graphene powder is well placed to open the door to the lucrative North American market.

The Company, which produces graphene, derived from graphite and a crystalline form of carbon, now has its exclusive intellectual property registered in six countries.  The Company is the largest graphene producer in the world and the leader in quality graphene.

With the trademark awaiting approvals in a further three global jurisdictions, First Graphene Managing Director, Craig McGuckin, says that gaining acceptance in the United States is a major strategic achievement.

“As we continue to scale and enhance the processing capability of graphene, the commercial interest continues to grow across a diverse number of manufacturing sectors,” said Mr McGuckin.

“To have achieved official registration and protection of our trademark in the United States, gives us a strong foundation to proactively target new contracts in this large and significant market.”

Graphene has made steady progress since being discovered by two Nobel scientists in 2004, with growing demand in the energy, mining, textile and construction sectors.  First Graphene is the enabler for the commercialisation of graphene, through addressing the supply shortage and setting the standard for quality.

First Graphene produces the product at its factory in Henderson, south west of Perth from where it exports to a global market. First Graphene’s PureGRAPH® trademark is now registered or protected in the United States of America, Australia, China, New Zealand, European Union and United Kingdom.

Tags:  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene 

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First Graphene Re-opens UK Laboratories

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Advanced materials company, First Graphene Limited is pleased to advise the re-opening of its laboratories at the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC), Manchester.

The GEIC laboratories were closed by the University of Manchester on 18th March 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The First Graphene UK team has been working remotely since the closure.

Following extensive risk assessment and planning in collaboration with the University facilities management team the UK laboratories are now ready to restart operations. A range of risk controls are now in place including social distancing markings, access restrictions and carefully planned activities. The formal clearance to proceed was given by the University on Monday 15th June.

While working remotely the UK team has continued to provide technical support to global customers, completed background research in preparation for technical projects and supported the activities for the Henderson site.  In addition, the website hosting service has been upgraded and a number of technical enhancements have been made to the website backend to improve performance and security.  Also, multiple announcements and articles for publication were authored during this period.  The team is well prepared for the immediate restart of technical programmes in rubber and TPU additives, supercapacitor materials, fire retardancy and customer application development.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director of First Graphene Ltd. said “The UK team has played a critical role supporting our business throughout the lockdown. We are all very pleased to be re-starting operations and getting back to technical projects and customer application development in our laboratories”

Tags:  Covid-19  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene  Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre  Healthcare 

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First Graphene Joins Europe’s Flagship Programme

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, June 9, 2020
First Graphene Ltd has been accepted as an Associate Member of the EU Graphene Flagship. The company joins the €1 billion EU funded programme at a crucial time as the Flagship transitions from R&D to commercialisation and requires graphene manufacturers with industrial supply capability.

The Graphene Flagship has a budget of €1 billion and coordinates nearly 170 academic and industrial research groups in 21 countries and has more than 90 associate members.  FGR through its UK subsidiary is the first Australian entity to be admitted to the consortium.

The Graphene Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in the space of 10 years, thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities.

This follows the Company also joining the BSI and ISO/TC229 working groups for the development of graphene characterisation standards, thereby ensuring alignment of the Company’s quality processes with the emerging international standards.

First Graphene intends to stay at the leading edge in terms of controlling the quality of graphene related products.  The Company continues to invest in its processing capability through measurement and automation and is a Tier 1 Member of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester with direct access to world-class analytical equipment and techniques and supporting expertise.  The Company will continue to invest in analytical methods and process tools to ensure world leading PureGRAPH® product quality for our customers.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd, said, “FGR joining the EU Graphene Flagship at this time is auspicious, as FGR continues to commercialise it PureGRAPH® range of graphene powders.  As the world leader in the production of large volume, high quality graphene powders membership of this organisation is at an appropriate time as various projects transition from R&D to commercialisation.”

Tags:  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene  Graphene Flagship  University of Manchester 

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Aquatic Leisure Technologies Signs Supply Agreement

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Advanced materials company, First Graphene Limited is pleased to advise the execution of a Supply Agreement with Aquatic Leisure Technologies (ALT) for supply of PureGRAPH® products over the next twenty-four months.

FGR and ALT have conducted extensive test work over the last two years for the incorporation of PureGRAPH® into the ALT resin systems used for the construction of ALT’s award-winning swimming pools.

FGR and ALT have been able to demonstrate improved flexural strength with the addition of small percentages of PureGRAPH® graphene powders.  Immersion testing has been completed in accordance with ASTM D750 standards, and this has confirmed reduced sorption curves, which will reduce the potential for osmotic blistering.

ALT have been the industry leaders in pool innovation and the new range of pools from ALT incorporating PureGRAPH® will enable a totally new proprietary construction process and provide the next generation of fibreglass pool technology.

Other Key Terms of Supply Agreement
Pursuant to the Supply Agreement, ALT will exclusively source graphene and any other graphite or graphene products from FGR.

FGR’s supply of its graphene products to ALT will initially be exclusive for application in the production of fibreglass swimming pools for sale in Australia, New Zealand the United States of America, and Reunion Island.  Following the initial term, exclusivity will continue subject to ALT achieving (and continuing to maintain) an annualised minimum order quantity.  The initial annualised minimum order quantity to be achieved in the first two years of the Supply Agreement is 2,500 kg (2.5 tonnes pa) of PureGRAPH®.

Each party has the right to early termination if there is a material breach of the obligations of the other party.  Additionally, ALT has the option to extend the initial 24-month term for an additional 36 months.

There are no other material terms to this contract and the Company is not able to quantify the economic impact on the Company at this time.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd, said, “The execution of this Supply Agreement represents one of several anticipated for 2020.  We are pleased to have worked with Aquatic Leisure Technologies to develop a unique range of fibreglass swimming pools for local and export markets.  Graphene is helping our customers to develop new products not previously seen with non-graphene technologies.  PureGRAPH® additives are a key enabler in taking elastomers, composites, coatings and concrete materials to a new level and we will continue to seek out further new applications and markets where graphene can add value.”

Lynley Papineau, Managing Director, for Aquatic Leisure Technologies, said, “Aquatic Leisure Technologies is committed to developing innovative solutions for our customers.  We are excited by the product we have developed with First Graphene.  These are two innovative, Australian founded companies who are taking new technologies to a world market. The implementation of PureGRAPH® into our company’s range of swimming pools is the beginning of a new era for pre moulded fibreglass swimming pools. Greater strength, durability, water and chemical resistance. After two years of extensive research and development we can truthfully boast that this breakthrough in material science has allowed Aquatic Leisure Technologies Pty Ltd, in conjunction, with First Graphene Ltd, to be world leaders.

Tags:  Aquatic Leisure Technologies  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene  Lynley Papineau 

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First Graphene’s Ability to Supply High-Quality Graphene at Volume Secures a Supply Contract

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, May 27, 2020
First Graphene Ltd, the leading global producer of advanced graphene products, has signed an exclusive supply agreement with planarTECH (Holdings) Ltd, a global leader in graphene process equipment and graphene-enabled products.  First Graphene will supply high-quality PureGRAPH® nanoplatelets in large-scale volumes for use in planarTECH’s coating formulation for face masks and PPE.  

Under the supply contract, planarTECH will exclusively source graphene additives from First Graphene over a 2-year term with the agreed initial minimum quantity to be 1000kg in the first year.  A further 2 terms to follow the initial term included in the contract.

First Graphene recently partnered with planarTECH to develop a robust supply chain for the manufacture of innovative graphene-enhanced personal protective equipment.  Initial testing of PureGRAPH® has been completed and planarTECH will use this product in their proprietary coating to provide anti-static and bacteria-resistant properties to their range of face masks.

planarTECH has been experiencing increased demand for these products as world populations seek protection from airborne infection.

First Graphene has a well-established and robust supply chain for the manufacture of their high performing PureGRAPH® graphene products and have an already proven successful formulation that disperses uniformly into polymer coatings.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd., said, “planarTECH have moved very quickly to test and commercialise their new range of graphene face masks and we are delighted to enter this contract to support the growth of their business.  Clearly, further opportunities exist in the development of planarTECH’s other PPE equipment.”

Ray Gibbs, Chairman for planarTECH (Holdings) Ltd., said, “We have experienced substantial, rapid and qualified enquiries for the graphene mask.  The 35 or so we are pursuing all require a fast turnaround of 2-3 weeks where potential orders could be very significant.  This increasing demand has meant we needed to secure a robust graphene supply to ensure we met the known market demand.  We have been impressed with the speed of response and high quality, consistent product from First Graphene which is crucial in urgently supplying this much needed product across the world.”

Tags:  coatings  Craig McGuckin  FIrst Graphene  Graphene  planarTECH  polymer  Ray Gibbs 

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First Graphene and Foster Plastics Industries to Commence Testing on EVA Products

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, May 12, 2020
First Graphene is pleased to advise Foster Plastics Industries Pty Ltd, an Australian versatile extrusion company, is collaborating with FGR to develop PureGRAPH® enhanced ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) materials for use in Foster’s range of solar tubes and plastic extrusion systems.  The PureGRAPH® 10 EVA masterbatch loaded with 30% graphene will be drawn down to the desired ultimate concentration of 0.25% to 1% within Foster’s proprietary black nitrile/PVC compound.

EVA is a versatile master-batching material which is used to incorporate functional additives into various compounds, in this case PVC.  Significant earlier work in collaboration with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) in the UK, demonstrated that PureGRAPH® can be effectively loaded into EVA even at these high levels of 30% weight per weight basis.  The incorporation of high performing PureGRAPH® graphene will seek to improve solar tubes for water heat conductivity, tensile strength, compression strength and longevity in UV exposure.

The successful incorporation of PureGRAPH® into Foster’s materials at their Yatala factory in Queensland will enable Fosters to evaluate the products within its business lines which will benefit from PureGRAPH®.  Masterbatches have been despatched for manufacturing and testing will commence immediately.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd, said, “Working with Foster is a further example demonstrating the benefits PureGRAPH® may provide to material enhancement. It is also indicative of the industry diversity to which PureGRAPH® products can be applied”.

Glen Bracken, Managing Director for Foster Plastics Industries Pty Ltd, said, “We are looking forward to working with First   Graphene in testing the incorporation of PureGRAPH®, initially into our solar tube line of products.”

Tags:  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Foster Plastics Industries Pty Ltd  Glen Bracken  Graphene  Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre  Plastic 

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First Graphene and planarTECH Collaborate to Develop a Scaled Supply Chain for the Production of Graphene Face Masks

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, May 9, 2020
First Graphene Ltd, (“FGR” or “First Graphene “) the leading global producer of advanced graphene products and planarTECH (Holdings ) Ltd, (“ planarTECH”), a global leader in graphene process equipment and graphene-enabled products agree to collaborate on graphene enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) products. 

First Graphene and planarTECH have signed a memorandum of understanding towards developing a robust supply chain for the manufacture of innovative graphene-enhanced personal protective equipment.

planarTECH have developed an innovative face mask which utilises a graphene coating to provide anti-static and bacteria-resistant properties to the mask.  Current demand for these products is high as world populations seek protection from airborne infection and planarTECH need to increase their manufacturing supply chain capability to meet growing market demand accordingly.  PureGRAPH® additives are already being used in the mask application and First Graphene have the capability to supply the volumes required for this rapidly growing business.

The face mask will be manufactured by planarTECH under their 2AM brand.  Washable and reusable, the mask is also resistant to bacteria and repels airborne particles.  The new 2AM face mask has the potential to become an essential, everyday accessory during these uncertain times.

The two companies have agreed to collaborate to rapidly test and implement the use of PureGRAPH® materials into existing and new anti-static coatings for PPE.  Materials development activities are already underway, and the companies anticipate quick progress to full-scale manufacturing of the face mask.  With the anti-static coating capable of repelling airborne particles and offering bacteria-resistant properties further graphene enabled products in the PPE sector are expected to emerge.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd., said, “We have been very impressed by the speed to commercialisation that planarTECH have achieved with the graphene face masks and we are pleased to support the growth of this opportunity”.

Ray Gibbs, Chairman for planarTECH (Holdings) Ltd., said, “For successful growth of our business, planarTECH is seeking a graphene supply partner that can reliably deliver high quality consistent products.  We are very aware of First Graphene’s robust supply capability delivered globally from its Australian facility. Following on from significant trials utilising PureGRAPH® materials and we are excited about this collaboration to meet the rapid growth in demand for face masks and other PPE products.”

Tags:  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene  Healthcare  planarTECH  Ray Gibbs 

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First Graphene Ltd and Hexcyl to Collaborate on HDPE Project

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, May 7, 2020
First Graphene Limited is pleased to advise that Hexcyl is collaborating with the Company to develop PureGRAPH® enhanced HDPE materials for use in Hexcyl’s range of oyster baskets and long-line farming systems.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a thermoplastic polymer produced from the monomer ethylene. With a high strength-to-density ratio, HDPE is used in the production of plastic bottles, corrosion-resistant piping, geomembranes and plastic timbers.

The incorporation of high-performing PureGRAPH® additives will seek to improve the mechanical properties of the HDPE, while at the same time provide greater longevity of the systems in high energy farming environments.

Hexcyl Systems offer oyster farmers and shellfish farmers a wide range of shellfish aquaculture products designed for Adjustable Longline Shellfish Farming and other tidal systems. The products are manufactured in Australia and sold globally.

PureGRAPH® additives will be supplied to Hexcyl’s masterbatch and injection moulding companies over the next two weeks.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd., said, “Working with Hexcyl Systems with their requirement for additional mechanical improvement is yet another industry where PureGRAPH® may provide benefits to material enhancement”.

Tags:  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene  Hexcyl Systems  Polymer 

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Graphene Protective Materials Extend Life in Mining Equipment

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, April 16, 2020
First Graphene are pleased to announce that several new PureGRAPH® enhanced bucket liners have been supplied by newGen to a second major iron ore producer in Pilbara, Western Australia.  

newGen use PureGRAPH® high-performing graphene additives from First Graphene to manufacture their ArmourGRAPH™ rubber wear linings with outstanding strength and wear characteristics, increasing the life of wear linings and leading to significant productivity benefits for the mine. 

The mine is also installing PureGRAPH® in other process equipment such as conveyor skirting products.

PureGRAPH® enhanced wear liners continue to be adopted across the mining industry, due to their extended life, ease of use and enhanced fire retardancy properties. As the benefits continue to be validated, the industry is expected to adopt graphene enhanced materials as a standard approach.

PureGRAPH® enhanced bucket liners have been successfully in service since the middle of 2019 and as reported in February 2020 these materials continue to outperform standard rubber wear liners.

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd., said, 
“Adoption of PureGRAPH® enhanced products by another major iron ore producer is evidence of the quality of First Graphene’s products. Only First Graphene has the capacity to deliver tonnage volumes of high-performing graphene to users as they adopt graphene into their products.”

Tags:  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene 

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Making Progress in Game Changing Supercapacitor Materials

Posted By Graphene Council, Friday, March 27, 2020
First Graphene Limited is pleased to provide an update on its programme to develop novel graphene hybrid materials. In September 2019, the Company announced the signing of a worldwide, exclusive licence agreement with the University of Manchester for the manufacture of hybrid-graphene materials by electrochemical processing.

Two high value product groups can be synthesised using this approach. Firstly, metal oxide decorated materials with high capacitance for applications in supercapacitors and catalysis and secondly, pristine graphene products with tightly controlled specifications for applications in electrical and thermal conductivity. The manufacturing process to be employed builds on the Company’s existing electrochemical processing expertise which is scaled to 100 tonne/year capacity at FGR’s manufacturing site at Henderson, WA.

The licence agreement was quickly followed in October 2019; by the initiation of a UK government funded EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Council) project to transfer the technology from the University laboratories to First Graphene laboratories.

Since October, the Company has successfully transferred the technology to its laboratories in Manchester, UK and has also completed two successful pilot trials at its manufacturing facility in Henderson, WA. Specifically, the Company has demonstrated the following
• Synthesis of metal oxide decorated hybrid graphenes at litre scale in FGR laboratories.
• Synthesis of pristine (zero-oxygen) graphene materials at litre scale in FGR laboratories.
• Manufacture of metal oxide decorated hybrid graphenes at multi-kg scale.
• Manufacture of pristine (zero-oxygen) graphene materials at multi-kg scale.

The structure of the new materials has been confirmed by Raman analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). A typical image of metal oxide decorated graphene is shown in Fig. 1 which shows the nanostructured metal oxides on the surface of an exfoliated graphene platelet.

Currently the FGR team, is testing the performance of these materials in energy storage and catalysis applications. Initial testing shows that prototype supercapacitor devices (coin cell) can be manufactured with these materials. Currently, additional testing is delayed due to restricted access to test facilities as a consequence of COVID-19 actions. Further updates will be provided.

In parallel to the experimental programme, the Company has been actively seeking end-users for novel supercapacitor products. The need for supercapacitors with higher performance from those currently available have been validated by end-users in the aerospace, marine, electric vehicle and utility storage sectors. The company is also actively seeking government funding to develop a new supply chain for game changing supercapacitor devices and have received letters of support from key players.

“We are really excited by the potential for these hybrid-graphene materials” said Craig McGuckin, Managing Director of First Graphene Ltd. “we have proven the chemistry does transfer at scale. We are disappointed that testing is being delayed due to current circumstances but will use this time to strengthen our end-user relationships.”

Tags:  Craig McGuckin  Engineering and Physical Sciences Council  First Graphene  Graphene  supercapacitors 

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