Alex Thomson Racing (“ATR”), the HUGO BOSS sponsored extreme sailing team, were aware of the paper published in the Journal of Applied Science that detailed the results of tests carried out by the US based research institute Aerospace Corporation. Aerospace Corporation took HDPlas® functionalised GNPs and conducted a series of tests with epoxy composites which resulted in more than a 100% increase in structural strength and stiffness for epoxy resin systems.
Alex Thomson Racing was extremely interested in these test results because their Research and Development team need to provide a vessel that has the strength to race around the world, but keeps the weight of HUGO BOSS to a minimum.
Initially Haydale Composite Solutions are conducting a review to ascertain weight saving opportunities within the current manufacturing process through the introduction of HDPlas® functionalised GNPs into both CFRP, polyester and epoxy resins. Additionally Haydale are working with the R&D team at Alex Thomson to incorporate Haydale enhanced graphene materials in their R&D programme for incorporation into future boat builds and sail concepts. Investigations are also ongoing into the potential for graphene enhanced materials to improve bearings and friction points plus critical areas such as the delamination of materials and thermal heat management.
As part of this collaboration Haydale also introduced the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating to the project. The WCPC are advising on the inclusion of Haydale Graphenes into barrier films and coatings and to investigate how specific graphene enhanced coatings can improve boat performance. Haydale are also working with component suppliers to Alex Thomson Racing to apply the combined knowledge of all parties to improve the overall boat performance.
The Alex Thomson collaboration clearly demonstrates how Haydale look to work with their customers to develop solutions.
Follow Alex as he attempts to win the Vendee Globe by clicking here