New research will demonstrate the significant improvements in mechanical, electrical, thermal and barrier properties of thermoplastics that can be achieved by introducing graphene to the polymer.
The reinforcement of polymers with graphene nano platelets has the potential to yield exceptionally high property increases for very low loadings - it is predicted that just 1% by volume of graphene nano platelets could yield a tensile modulus increase of 95% over an unfilled polymer.
NetComposites is currently bringing together a European partnership of companies to develop this technology for a range of application areas, including electronics, lighting, packaging and structural components. The project will concentrate on thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds that can be used in a range of moulding processes and additive manufacturing methods (SLS, FDM).
The project direction will be steered by a group of companies that want to explore the potential of graphene thermoplastics in their products, ensuring that the developments are focussed and have good potential for application. NetComposites is looking for additional companies to join this end-user group to help steer the aims of the project. Companies would have input into the specification of material properties to be achieved as well as the applications and markets the materials would be targeted at.
It is anticipated that funding for the project will be through the European Commissions Framework 7 funding programme.