Products & Applications
We are creating the next generation of products and applications.
Through selecting, processing and supplying bespoke nano and other advanced materials, we are developing “additives” that will enhance the quality and performance of applications and products across multiple industries. We call it “functional intensity”.
Our commitment to innovation underpins everything we do. Our R&D efforts span multiple projects which are funded by Government and Industry. It allows us to acquire new knowledge, techniques, and develop new technologies that have the potential to create material change. Our R&D efforts are focused on strong market feedback as we continue to focus on tangible, commercially driven business outcomes.
We are working with a wide range of composite types across many industrial sectors including, thermoplastics, carbon fibre, Reinforced Thermoplastic Pipes (RTP) and Glass-fibre Reinforced Plastics (GRP).
Creating a new range of carbon fibre composites
We have extensive experience in the design and manufacture of carbon fibre composites. By combining our HDPlas® functionalisation process with our expertise in graphene engineering and nano additive chemistry, we have developed a range of graphene enhanced carbon fibre prepregs. We have created and tested multiple prepreg formulations that deliver enhanced mechanical, electrical and thermal properties.
These materials will be the basis on which we work with customers to develop cost effective, tailored carbon fibre composite prepregs for volume manufacture. This positions us strongly to service the composites tooling and specialist component markets.
We believe that this represents the next generation of carbon fibre prepregs, from which a range of materials with specific performance characteristics can be manufactured. By adding graphene nanomaterials, these prepregs will increase the impact resistance and compression after impact performance of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy components. Applications include aerospace, automotive and sports goods such as bike frames and racing boats.
We can manufacture complex products using advanced materials through 3D printing. Our graphene-enhanced polylactic acid (PLA) filaments for 3D printing are improving the speed, strength, print quality and accuracy. These new materials offer so many benefits including:
- Excellent first layer adhesion and z axis strength retention;
- Major increase in speed of processing;
- Improved strength and stiffness;
- Better impact performance;
- Excellent print quality and surface finish;
- Improved dimensional accuracy
- Compatibility with a broad range of printers and ease of use.
The mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of our graphene-enhanced PLA filaments can be tailored to meet the needs of different applications and markets. A range of other graphene enhanced engineering grade materials for 3D printing will be launched in the near future.
Printing using conductive inks based on graphene formulations opens up major technical innovation and commercial opportunities in electronics, sensors, optical systems and many others. We have built a strong and close association with the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) where we sponsor a professorial chair and several PhD students. This gives us access to world class research in the fundamental science of printing, formulation as well as inks and coatings. Together with WCPC and the National Physical Laboratory we are undertaking ground breaking work on the chemistry of the surface functionalisation of graphene and other nano materials. This will drive further improvements to our HDPlas® process and enable us to fine tune material performance and develop new graphene enhanced materials – truly creating material change.
Silicon carbide whiskers
Our Silicon Carbide materials also have a wide range of applicability, from high performance cutting tools, to protective coatings, as well as ceramic and metal matrix composites. Our products are tough, heat resistant, and durable, and withstand the most demanding applications and environments, including:
- Ceramic cutting tools –Silar® silicon carbide whisker reinforces aluminium oxide to make the hardest cutting tool outside of diamond. Silar® delivers the ultimate in cutting tool productivity.
- Technical ceramics – ceramic parts reinforced with Silar® excel in dynamic operating environments requiring very high temperature stability, fracture resistance, wear resistance and resistance to chemicals.
- Protective coatings – our SI-TUFF™ line of high aspect ratio silicon carbide materials toughens protective coatings, increasing abrasion and scratch resistance, enhancing thermal conductivity and stability, and extending service life. Applications include non-stick cookware coatings, industrial fluoropolymer coatings, epoxy piping coatings, and ceramic coatings.
- Ceramic and metal matrix coatings – SI-TUFF™ silicon carbide fibre is used as a reinforcement for a variety of ceramic and metal matrix composites, to enhance structural and thermal properties. It is pure silicon carbide and is available at a material cost an order of magnitude lower than other commercial silicon carbide fibre offerings.
- Fibre reinforced plastics – random fibre composites can be reinforced with SI-TUFF™ for exceptional isotropic properties. Mechanical and thermal properties are enhanced.
- Plant cell transformations– plant cells are transformed when brought into contact with our Biograde Silar® material. This material can be treated with DNA and used as messenger needles to transform plant cells.