The Industrialization of Graphene - The Sixth Element Group Opens a New Plant in China

The Sixth Element Materials Technology Corporation announced in May 2020 that the first stage of expanding its production capacity had been completed. Located in Nantong, China, the newest plant now has the capacity to yield 150 t/a of graphene and 500 t/a of graphene oxide, elevating The Sixth Element’s overall capacity to 1000 t/a.

According to the manager of the new plant, production lines run and perform well with manufactured graphene already delivered to customers who have provided positive feedback. “The new production process is greener and more efficient and leads to a higher consistency of the product quality,” stated the plant manager.

Dr. Qu Yan, the General Manager of The Sixth Element, has announced that the organization will make a total investment of almost 58 million US dollars across two stages at the Nantong plant.

By 2022, it is predicted that the annual production capacity of the Nantong site will generate around 1500 tons of graphene oxide and 450 tons of graphene. The location is endorsed and supported by the corporate R&D to renovate products and processes. 

The Industrialization of Graphene in China - The Sixth Element Group Opens a New Plant

Image Credit: The Sixth Element (Changzhou) Materials Technology Co., Ltd.

The Industrialization of Graphene in China - The Sixth Element Group Opens a New Plant

Image Credit: The Sixth Element (Changzhou) Materials Technology Co.,Ltd.

The History of The Sixth Element Materials Technology Group

The Sixth Element (Changzhou) Materials Technology Co. Ltd, is an internationally renowned graphene and graphene oxide manufacturer. Established on a solid base of outstanding R&D, the organization consistently designs advanced graphene products that are ideally suited for the relevant applications.

The launch of a pilot-scale plant marked the beginning of initial production in 2011, based on exclusive production knowledge. At present, The Sixth Element has the capacity to yield 130 t/a of graphene and 300 t/a of graphene oxide.

Since September 2014, the company has been ISO 9001 certified, with the addition of ISO14001 and IATF 16949 in 2018. The organization holds EU REACH registrations for both graphene oxide and graphene.

The Industrialization of Graphene in China - The Sixth Element Group Opens a New Plant

Image Credit: The Sixth Element (Changzhou) Materials Technology Co.,Ltd.

The Industrialization of Graphene in China - The Sixth Element Group Opens a New Plant

Image Credit: The Sixth Element (Changzhou) Materials Technology Co.,Ltd.

At present, The Sixth Element (Changzhou) has the required qualifications in place for the production of graphene products suitable for thermal management in anti-corrosion coatings used in fibers, thermoplastics, automotive tire treads, and marine-based applications.

Exceptional thermal conductivity is an inherent characteristic of graphene. Films constructed from graphene oxide have been deemed appropriate to function as a platform for heat dissipation.

The Sixth Element (Changzhou) began its graphene industrialization operations in 2014 to be used as a material for heat dissipation in China’s electronic market. In collaboration with Jiangsu Huawei Century Electronic Group Co., The Sixth Element founded a joint-stock company called Fuxi Technology, which focuses on the production, development, and sales of thermal management materials constructed from graphene.

A graphene-based thermal dissipation film is one of the main products produced by Fuxi Technology. This is a highly oriented thermal film composed of several graphene layers.

The Sixth Element has shown that the potential to significantly reduce and restrict the zinc content in zinc-rich primers is possible without performance parameters being negatively affected.

SE1132 and SE1233 are competent types for the relevant applications, as they form an electrical network to enhance the cathodic behavior of zinc due to their superior electrical conductivity and optimize the primer’s barrier properties.

Together with a partner in China, The Sixth Element has proven that graphene significantly decreases abrasion while enhancing specific mechanical properties of rubber systems at the same time. For this reason, either graphene or graphene oxide is the ideal product to select according to the requirements of the rubber system.

Types of graphene have been successfully integrated within HDPE pipes, which are used across the oil and gas sector. Various types of graphene or reduced graphene oxides can be employed according to the electrical and mechanical requirements of the HDPE pipes. 

Incorporating only a small amount of graphene can significantly increase the flame retardancy, electrical conductivity, and mechanical properties of the pipeline.

Graphene oxide sheets normally contain a high amount of oxygen-containing functional groups. Adding a small amount of graphene oxide during the process of polymerization can strengthen the mechanical features of PA fibers, this also achieves a higher degree of anti-microbiological status. An improved and higher flame retardance is also produced by the barrier properties of graphene.

The Sixth Element is utilizing the superior barrier and adsorption properties of graphene by working with a partner in China, an established mother and baby company, to produce a KN95 mask for children where graphene powder is one of the raw materials in this mask.

The graphite modified filter screen is incorporated within the filter component of the mask, which has met the Chinese standard GB2626-2006 test and achieved the KN95 standard. It can effectively guard against epidemic diseases, aerosols, and haze and has exceptional air permeability.

The Sixth Element (Changzhou) provides a graphene oxide suspension with SE3521 and a water-based graphene suspension with SE4102 for the Chinese market.

The Sixth Element is collaborating with partners across Europe to realize the potential of supplying ready to use suspensions. At present, the suspensions on the market are based on either bisphenol A-, F epoxy matrixes, or on xylene, a solvent mainly utilized in coatings.

An advanced, water-based system has also been engineered, which does not require an alcohol for stabilization. Along with this, new innovative products for coatings, adhesives, batteries, reinforced plastics, and energy storage are currently being developed.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by The Sixth Element (Changzhou) Materials Technology Co.,Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit The Sixth Element (Changzhou) Materials Technology Co.,Ltd.

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