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First Graphene continues to validate PureGRAPH® Product Quality through National Physical Laboratory (NPL) collaboration

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The assurance of product quality and consistency is vital for the successful adoption of graphene additives by downstream customers. With a strong focus on product quality with its PureGRAPH® graphene product range, First Graphene has made significant progress in this area. Implementing state of the art analytical methods, participating in establishing international standards (ISO/TC229) and use of 6-sigma approaches to control manufacturing processes have all contributed to establishing PureGRAPH® as the leading brand for quality in the industry[i]. First Graphene continues to pursue improved methods for the characterisation of graphene products and has announced a new collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UK a globally acknowledged, independent laboratory.

World-leading measurement solutions are critical to business and government, accelerating research and innovation, improving quality of life and enabling trade. Following the COVID-19 crisis the NPL with the support of National Measurement Laboratory partners launched the Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme[ii], to support UK companies. First Graphene has successfully secured a place on the programme to study the Specific Surface Area of PureGRAPH® products.

Specific Surface Area is an important parameter of graphene platelets, that may impact dispersion and polymer wetting, and a critical parameter for regulatory authorities to enable them to categorise new substances and compare toxicology and environmental fate profiles. Specific Surface Area of powders is typically characterised by the BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) method which uses nitrogen gas adsorption to characterise the surface area. In recent work by NPL[iii], researchers investigated factors that impact upon BET measurements including the pristine nature of the graphene platelets.

In the collaborative M4R project, NPL researchers will determine the BET specific surface area of a range of PureGRAPH® products and intermediates, to determine the factors that affect the results of BET measurements.  The project is currently underway.

Paul Ladislaus, CTO of First Graphene says, “This study will provide further understanding of the surface area of our products, enabling us to provide world-class information to our customers and regulatory authorities.”

Keith Paton, Senior Research Scientist at NPL says “The M4R programme supports projects with UK companies, such as First Graphene, to enable innovation through measurement and this study will provide important insights into how the BET method can be effectively deployed by the graphene industry.”

Tags:  additives  First Graphene  Graphene  Keith Paton  National Physical Laboratory  Paul Ladislaus 

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Thomas Swan awarded funding from Innovate UK to further improve its graphene products

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd., one of the UK’s leading independent chemical manufacturers, today announced that it has been awarded funding from Innovate UK, under the Analysis for Innovators programme. The funding will support a project to develop a QC method for determining the aspect ratio for graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), working with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s National Metrology Institute and a World-renowned centre of excellence.

Thomas Swan is a global leader in the manufacture of carbon nanomaterials and 2D materials through patented high-shear liquid phase exfoliation technology. The ability to produce different variants and forms of graphene is of huge significance to Thomas Swan. In order to achieve this ambition, high aspect ratio graphene materials must be produced.

The grant aims to enhance Thomas Swan’s ability to measure the aspect ratio of its graphene products, which is currently done using their suite of SEM, PSD, Raman and other methods. The programme will focus on the Elicarb® GNP product line currently offered by Thomas Swan.

The project will allow Thomas Swan to become even more competitive in the field, by offering its customers a quick and cost-effective tool to improve the level of characterisation of its GNP products and therefore guaranteeing a higher quality and consistency of its materials. Furthermore, this will increase the number of options available to customers, resulting in the delivery of more refined products, allowing Thomas Swan to compete more effectively in areas of UK-focused innovation such as the nanocomposites, lubricants and battery materials application areas.

Michael Edwards, Commercial Director – Advanced Materials at Thomas Swan said, “being able to continue our close collaboration with the NPL means that we can maintain our high standard of product characterisation, integrity and quality which is paramount in the volume materials manufacturing business”.

Keith Paton, Senior Research Scientist at NPL said “this is a fantastic opportunity to apply the measurement capability developed at NPL to support UK industry to improve productivity and product quality. We are looking forward to working with Thomas Swan to deliver improved quality control measurement techniques to monitor the graphene nanoplatelet aspect ratio”

Tags:  2D materials  Graphene  Innovate UK  Keith Paton  Michael Edwards  nanocomposites  nanomaterials  National Physical Laboratory  Thomas Swan 

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