UK companies team up to develop composite employing graphene

Advanced materials company Haydale (Ammanford, UK) and Rogers Advanced Composites (RAC; Southampton, UK) are teaming up to technically and commercially collaborate in the field of advanced graphene enhanced composites. RAC is developing a composites centre located close to the Solent on the UK’s South Coast. This collaboration will enable RAC to access Haydale’s extensive technical know-how in composites, polymers and resins and to incorporate the range of advanced graphene enhanced composites, developed by Haydale, into its existing and future projects.

An an oil recovery project may be the first commercial application for a UK collaboration in the graphene-based composites field.

RAC which has roots in the marine and yachting world, through its sister company Rogers Yacht Design, has built a strong reputation in the design and manufacture of advanced composite products. RAC is experiencing strong demand for high quality composite solutions across a range of industrial sectors including marine, military and motor sport. The company is in the process of securing long term production contracts for an oil recovery project as well as several aerospace, military and motor racing projects. There are also some prospects in the rail and shipping sectors as well as new build high performance carbon fiber race boats and refits.

Haydale has developed three specific graphene-enhanced carbon fibre prepregs that offer designers the ability to improve and optimise structural performance characteristics. Each prepreg utilises functionalised graphene dispersed in epoxy resin formulations to deliver enhanced performance in a specific area namely:

  • Enhanced electrical conductivity (lightning strike protection; electromagnetic (EMI) and radio-frequency (RFI) shielding; strain gauges and interactive diagnostics)
  • Enhanced thermal conductivity (for the dissipation of heat)
  • Enhanced mechanical performance – modulus/wear resistance

Subject to individual projects being agreed, technical collaboration between Haydale and RAC should enable their customers to achieve high performance and cost effective outcomes using the latest composite technology.

According to Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale, “Work conducted over the past two years in mixing, dispersing and processing of a range of nanomaterials into high end epoxy resins is now enabling us to add significant value to the traditional composite offerings that have been available for many years. The speed at which RAC has moved and its ability to attract exciting commercial projects makes this an obvious partner for Haydale to demonstrate our added value capabilities. We look forward to working with the RAC on what is a very exciting collaboration.”

Simon Rogers, CEO of RAC commented: “RAC is a design-led composite manufacturing facility that is intent on adopting new technologies in the early stages of development. The opportunity to work with Haydale and its new graphene and other nano products fits very well with our company philosophy and we believe this new collaboration will be the beginning of a long-term relationship.”

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