Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. recently made an announcement on the successful initial test results obtained from research carried out by Dr. Alan Dalton at the University of Sussex, UK (“Sussex”) with the help of graphene converted from the Company’s high-purity graphite. The use of Zenyatta graphene in rubber composite and emulsion applications was tested by Sussex.
Rubber Composite Applications
Zenyatta graphite was effortlessly exfoliated by Sussex via sonication in order to produce graphene which was at that time homogenously dispersed into a rubber composite. The addition of just 0.5% Zenyatta graphene brought about a tremendous improvement in the thermal and electrical properties of the rubber composite together with increased elasticity and strength. In order to develop high performance rubber composite sensors, researchers from Sussex have now switched to nano-materials like graphene. The material that was finally obtained demonstrated remarkable performance as sensors that are capable of detecting motions as subtle as those related to pulse and breathing.
The exfoliation of Zenyatta graphite was very clean with the production of mostly monolayer and bilayer graphene. Our initial results using Zenyatta graphene in rubber composites show exceptional motion sensitivity to mechanical stress which is critical for sensor applications. We will be investigating the use of these composites in several other applications in conjunction with the appropriate industrial partners.
Dr. Alan Dalton, Professor of Experimental Physics at Sussex
Rubber composites with several properties can be used in potential sensor applications in wearable sports clothing and medical devices as health monitors.
This further confirms the distinct and desirable properties of Albany graphite for conversion to graphene which was previously recognized by scientists in Israel, Japan and Canada. We continue to find that the unique properties of our graphite enable easier production of consistently high quality and easily dispersible graphene which is opening doors for new and important applications, especially composites. Zenyatta recently achieved similar successful results using our graphene in concrete composites with Dr. Oren Regev at Ben-Gurion University.
Dr. Bharat Chahar, VP Market Development for Zenyatta
High-purity graphite samples are still provided by the Company to potential end-users in order to allow them to evaluate the consistent quality of the material in the existing graphene product developments.
Techniques that will help produce solid-stabilized water-in-oil suspensions known as emulsions have also been developed by scientists at Sussex. It is possible to use exfoliated graphite or graphene as the stabilizing solid for these emulsions, which can then be used in new applications in which the control of thermal and electrical is essential for performance. Supercapacitors, stress sensors and inkjet printing are examples of such applications.
A method to directly produce the graphene in the emulsion has been developed by Sussex, however the yield and homogeneity of the Zenyatta produced graphene determined the usefulness and success of the suspension. Insufficient concentration of graphene was observed in the past and this needed further processing with a centrifuge. This insufficiency occurred because of the low yields and lack of homogenous graphene from other sources. Results recently obtained from Zenyatta’s Albany graphite demonstrated greater homogenous graphene production with increased yields, thus enabling the direct production of conductive liquid suspensions. Outstanding conductivity controls at graphene concentrations of approximately 1% or less are demonstrated by these emulsions.
Sussex is a globally leading research university located near Brighton, United Kingdom. This high quality research-led university delivers globally recognized, high-quality research. . Zenyatta and Sussex are currently working to increase testing while coming up with plans to prove out the viability of applications.
The Albany Graphite Deposit located in northeastern Ontario, Canada, is being developed by Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. The deposit is considered to be a type of igneous-hosted, fluid-derived graphite mineralization contained in two huge breccia pipes. The Company is seeking end users for their graphene and graphite and is also collaborating with partners including the development of a graphene enhanced concrete. Powder metallurgy, fuel cells and Li-ion batteries are other potential markets for graphite. The future of the global graphite market looks extremely promising with a rapidly increasing demand for new applications. It is presently considered to be a more strategic element by top leading industrial nations, specifically for its increasing significance in high technology manufacturing industries and also in the emerging “green” industries like electric vehicle components.
The Albany graphite deposit is based 30 km north of the Trans-Canada Highway, power line and natural gas pipeline near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. A rail line is situated 70 km away with an all-weather road about 10 km from the graphite deposit. The global trend is to manufacture products for technological applications requiring exceptional performance using ultra-high purity graphite powder at a reasonable cost. It is possible to upgrade Albany graphite with extremely good crystallinity without using high temperature thermal treatment or aggressive acids (hydrofluoric), thus holding an environmental advantage over several other types of upgraded high-purity graphite material.