HCS/Huntsman to work on nano graphenes for composites

nano graphenes for composites

UK-based Haydale Composites Solutions (HCS), formerly EPL Composite Solutions, has signed a letter of intent to start a joint development and commercialisation agreement with Huntsman Advanced Materials (Switzerland) to functionalise graphene nano platelets (GNPs) using its proprietary HDPlas process and add them to Huntsman's Araldite resins to create a highly loaded masterbatch. Under the proposed agreement, it is anticipated that Huntsman and HCS will develop and validate the use of GNPs in Araldite epoxy resins, using HCS's proprietary HDPlas process. The ultimate objective of the collaboration will be to commercialise graphene-enhanced Araldite resins for a range of applications in the composites market.

"We are highly excited about working with a world leading resins company and to developing markets and applications for these new graphene enhanced Araldite resins,” said Gerry Boyce, managing director of HCS. “We see graphene enhanced polymer resins and their use in composite materials as being a revolution. This work opens up the potential for a whole new range of advanced composite materials and products with enhanced performance and lower cost."

"We have identified the composites market as a strategic sector for our functionalized graphene and other nanomaterials with HCS being a fundamental route to market for our plasma functionalised materials,” said Ray Gibbs, Haydale CEO. “This agreement represents a major opportunity to work with a global partner to develop a whole new range of formulated resins with enhanced properties which they can sell into the composites' market across the world."

Meanwhile, the Cardiff School of Engineering has researched parent company Haydale’s functionalised GNP-reinforced composites and found a 50% increase in compression after impact (CAI) strength. In-plane shear strength was also improved by up to 60%, highlighting the strengthening and toughening.

Parent company Haydale has developed a patent pending proprietary scalable plasma process to functionalise graphene and other nanomaterials. This enabling technology can provide a rapid and highly cost efficient method of supplying tailored solutions to enhance applications for both raw material suppliers and product manufacturers. Functionalisation is carried out through a low pressure plasma process that treats both organic mined fine powder and other synthetically produced nanomaterial powders producing high quality few layered graphenes and graphene nano platelets.

The process can functionalise with a range of chemical groups, where the amount of chemicals can be tailored to the customer needs. Good dispersion improves the properties and performance of the host material and ensures it delivers as specified. The Haydale plasma process does not use wet chemistry, neither does it damage the material being processed, rather it can clean up impurities inherent in the raw material. The technology is reported to be a low energy user and most importantly environmentally friendly. The Haydale method is an enabling technology where working with a raw material producer can add value to the base product and tailor the outputs to meet the target applications of the end user.

Haydale, based in South Wales, has a purpose built facility for processing and handling nanomaterials with a laboratory facility, to facilitate the application of graphenes and other nanomaterials in fields such as inks, sensors, energy storage, photovoltaics, composites, paints and coatings, while HCS is a composite R&D and testing house, based in Loughborough. HCS’s customers include the National Grid, SSE, Eirgrid, Chevron, Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water, and 3M. HCS is focused on a range of market sectors including pipe lining for the oil, gas and water industries, infrastructure for electricity and energy sectors plus the marine and transportation markets.


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