Our Work Package is largely made up of industrial partners Alex Jouvray
who use graphene to develop and improve the performance
of commercial products. This includes UV-C LEDs for water
purification, coatings for copper wires to improve conductivity,
new composites for fire protection in vehicles and buildings,
and new materials for the aerospace industry. In particular,
we produced and validated new materials for the Airbus A350
In addition to product development, our partners have significantly increased the production and distribution capabilities
of graphene and layered materials for the entire Graphene
Flagship. Our materials are made using standardised, quantified
and certified methods to ensure we meet the levels of consistency and reproducibility required for product development.
BETTER THAN THE BEST, WITH REAL IMPACT
We run four key tasks, each addressing a different market.
In each of them, graphene enhances the properties and
performance of our products to the point that they exceed
current state-of-the-art technology.
- UV-C LEDs: We exploit the conductive and optical properties
of graphene to create a transparent electrode for UV-C LEDs,
with improved efficiency, for water treatment and purification.
- i-cables: Copper wires are coated with graphene to improve
both conductivity and corrosion resistance, extending their
shelf life and enabling them to be thinner and lighter.
- Aerospace materials: Graphene enhances the impact
resistance of construction materials for aircraft, like in the
Airbus A350. After testing and upscaling, this could provide
significant benefits to safety, fuel efficiency and weight
reduction, which in turn will decrease the environmental
- Fire protection: The coatings and structures we develop
using graphene and layered materials can be used in both
the automotive industry and in building construction. Not
only do they provide fire protection, but they also have
diagnostic fire sensing capabilities: a significant health
and safety improvement compared to existing materials.
Producing new materials for
aerospace, fire protection,
corrosion prevention and more
BREAKING INTO INDUSTRY
The Production Work Package’s developments are mostly
carried out by commercial organisations, such as our European
partner companies Airbus, Aeronova and Grupo Antolin.
As such, all of our developments are industry-driven and
contribute to the Graphene Flagship’s goal of industrialisation.
We make graphene on a much larger scale than in research and
development, and all of our graphene producers are ISO
certified. The graphene prepared by our partners is also subject
to strict process control.
For example, the materials we manufactured for the Airbus
A350 meet the manufacturing quality standards required for
commercial aircraft. Furthermore, we are performing full-scale
experimental bird impact tests to fully evaluate the durability
of the graphene-reinforced structure under working conditions.
In terms of fire protection, we scaled up the production
capability of our flame-retardant materials to an industrial level,
making large volumes of composites and paints. In addition,
validation tests were done according to international standards, and the high availability of our materials enables them
to be used in a broader range of applications, subsequently
raising the technology readiness level.
2019: A YEAR IN REVIEW
We performed more than 100 compression after impact tests
on industrially relevant-sized samples of our aerospace
materials. As little as 1.2% graphene and layered material
can improve impact resistance by more than 9% compared
to conventional laminate materials.
By applying graphene and layered materials to flame-retardant
paints, we reduced the temperature of a standard steel frame,
common in modern buildings, by over 150°C when exposed to fire.
Finally, we successfully developed a new graphene growth
process under atmospheric pressure to enhance the performance of copper wires. We demonstrated this using a batch
processing tool, resulting in a ~1% increase in conductivity.
In the next phase of the project, we will release more products,
develop continuous quality control processes, and implement
solutions for the integration of graphene into the mass market.
We will explore the use of graphene and layered materials for
more applications in aerospace, such as structural health
monitoring. We will also develop smart systems for industrial
applications in pipes, tanks and reactors, with the potential to
be used for corrosion protection, which today accounts for
~3.5% of the global GDP.
Work Package Leader: Alex Jouvray, Aixtron Ltd., United Kingdom
Work Package Deputy: Julio Gormez Cordon, AVA, Spain