Mark Dickie is the business developer for composites applications for the Graphene Flagship. Dickie has extensive experience in the composites industry having worked in business development at Versarien Advanced Composites, Caparo Advanced Composites and Umeco (formerly Advanced Composites Group). He offers his thoughts on the current state of graphene in composites applications.
Q: What is the current state of graphene for composites applications?
Composite materials such as CFRP and rubbers are among the first ways to commercially use graphene. Graphene-enhanced composite materials have started to appear commercially in the field of sports gear, such as tennis rackets, training shoes, bike frames and wheels to mention a few, which have demonstrated beneficial properties such as light weight, flexibility and mechanical strength. Another promising area for graphene is in the thermal management of composites.
Q: What challenges does graphene face in becoming integrated in composites?
I see various challenges facing the integration of composites, namely:
Industry perception of graphene, what can it offer, why change?
Scale-up of graphene production and process equipment.
Investment from industry in equipment and development of products.
Health and safety around dealing with graphene is an unknown that requires attention.
Q: What graphene composites products are currently available?
There are a number of graphene enhanced products and prototypes available at the moment, including: