News and Press Releases
14 June 2017
Graphene Modified Composites for Long-Term and High-Temperature Applications

Leading Edge Materials Corp. is pleased to announce the commencement of a VINNOVA funded research project, where the Company is a founding participant, involving the use of graphite and graphene in high performance polymeric composite materials.  The project, entitled “Graphene Modified Composites for Long-Term and High-Temperature Applications” has a focus on aerospace and aeronautic applications, and aims to develop graphene modified polymeric materials using graphite sourced from Leading Edge Material’s Woxna project in Sweden.

Aims of the Project:

develop polymeric composites which can withstand high temperatures and humid environment at long-term exposure by using graphene as diffusion barrier;

at least 20% weight reduction in aircraft at the system level;

Improve nano-safety and communicate with partners of how to be more energy-effective from the production of graphene to the manufacture of targeted structure/part and how to improve the sustainability of technologies to be developed.

The project brings together an entire Swedish value chain, from a supplier of graphite to end users of high performance materials.  Industrial partners include GKN Aerospace Sweden AB (formerly Volvo Aero) and Nexan Chemical AB, while the materials research will be driven by Swerea SICOMP AB.  The total budget is SEK1.7 million (approximately CA$260,000) in which VINNOVA funds 50% and industrial partners contribute 50% in kind, and the project is scheduled to run until Q1 2019.

Blair Way, President and CEO, stated “Sweden is a long-term leader in aeronautics, with both the research capacity and deep industrial support to make rapid progress in the development of new materials.  We are pleased to be involved in this targeted research to identify new high value applications for graphite and graphene, and are excited to see Woxna graphite being instrumental within such cutting edge materials.”

Graphene is a thin layer of pure carbon, being the one of the thinnest, lightest and strongest compounds known to man.   Leading Edge Materials first produced graphene from graphite from the Woxna mine in 2016, in partnership with 2D Fab AB.

The Project is driven by the demand from aerospace and aeronautics industries for high performance lightweight materials.  Graphene-modified resins will be researched to validate their potential for surface protection or as a matrix in composites for high-temperature and barrier applications.

Graphene modified materials may provide polymeric composites suitable for use in long-term high temperature and high humidity stability  applications, such as aircraft engine parts, with lower weight and enhanced mechanical properties.  The project targets a 20% weight reduction in aircraft at the system level, making way for lightweight, highly thermal resistant and more durable composite components. The enhanced durability at high temperatures will increase the application of polymeric composite that can replace metal structures in the high temperature regions of aircraft. The improved mechanical properties and stability from less moisture uptake will also expand the use of products/components already made with composites in continuous operation where temperature is below 150°C.

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