Thomas Swan + Co.
Ltd. has announced a major step forward in its nanomaterials manufacturing
capability with the commissioning of a new, state-of-the-art single-wall carbon
nanotube plant at its Consett facility in the UK. The new plant began commercial
production in late May and the company has announced that the installation of
a second identical plant will be completed by the end of 2010.
The increase in capacity follows a six-year research and pilot manufacturing
programme at the site and is in response to increasing commercial demand for
Thomas Swan’s high-purity products which are used in a wide range of applications
including advanced electronics, high performance composites and fuel cell components.
Speaking at the Nanomaterials 2010 Conference in London Harry Swan, Managing
Director of the UK-based family-owned business, provided details of the new
plant which can manufacture 50kg per month of high purity single-wall carbon
nanotubes sold under the Elicarb® trademark. The company has also decided
to invest in a second identical plant that will be commissioned towards the
end of 2010 bringing its total capacity up to approximately 100kg per month.
Thomas Swan began production of carbon nanotubes on its original pilot plant
in 2004 following four years of development with the University of Cambridge.
Since then the business has gained valuable commercial and technical experience
through close collaboration with key customers and the University of Oxford.
This collaboration has built a stable and profitable carbon nanomaterials business
that supplies customers in the USA and Europe, making Thomas Swan a leading
player in the sector.
Harry Swan further commented: “We decided to focus on developing the
right grade of material with our customers first and then expanding production
of this grade as demand increased. The investment in these two new plants is
in direct response to increased demand and we are very encouraged to see the
market developing in a controlled and sustainable manner.”