Applied Graphene Materials, has developed a new, proprietary technology, Structural InkTM, which enables the highly targeted delivery of graphene to composites.
Significant progress has been made in Applied Graphene Material’s core target market segments of composites and coatings, including new intellectual property.
Applied Graphene Materials has registered a patent having developed a highly innovative, new technology, Structural InkTM , that once fully commercialised will be targeted at the advanced composites industry.
Structural Ink comprises the deposition of graphene nanoplatelets directly onto composite laminates in a controlled and targeted manner. By adopting Structural InkTM technology, end users will have the ability to increase mechanical toughness, which can be derived through the addition of graphene. Application to specific areas will enable the optimisation of the performance and structural design of composite materials. Ultimately this will improve component integrity and performance, enable further weight reduction and also reduce total manufacturing costs.
Applied Graphene Materials has signed heads of terms for a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC). This JDA will focus on the development and commercial exploitation of Structural InkTM technology, through collaboration projects with AMRC’s industry partners. At an early phase in the development cycle, AGM plans to locate a technology demonstration cell within the AMRC’s Composites Centre.
Richard Scaife, the AMRC Composites Centre Manager, said: “Over the last 24 months, our research staff and engineers have been collaborating with Applied Graphene Materials on its Structural InkTM technology development and we are delighted that we are now able to progress to a formal, long term agreement. While this technology is still relatively immature in aerospace terms, we believe it highlights significant potential for performance improvements with both weight and cost savings to those designing critical composite structures. In the near future we will be sharing information on this technology with our aerospace partners, but also see the potential for early adoption with partners operating in less safety critical industrial sectors.”
Although at an early phase of its development cycle, four specialist end-users from different sectors of the composites industry have committed to explore Structural InkTM. These include Prodrive Composites Limited (“Prodrive”), which has signed heads of terms for a Joint Development Agreement with Applied Graphene Materials to focus on the development towards near term applications. Prodrive works in the high-end automotive, motorsport, aerospace and leisure goods sectors, designing and producing lightweight, high performance composite structures.
John McQuilliam, Chief Engineer of Prodrive Composites commented “We have investigated the potential for graphene within Prodrive’s business and identified several application areas for development and ideally early adoption. We feel confident that Applied Graphene Materials represents a strong partner for Prodrive, having an approach to development that is both innovative, yet realistic. We understand that some features of their graphene technology are quite unique, but are also reassured that adoption into other commercial composite applications has already been proven.”