Production

Production
Producing new materials for aerospace, fire protection, corrosion prevention and more!
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 aircraft. 

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 impact. 
  • 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. 

OUR VISION 

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


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Publishing date: 08 September 2020 11:15