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  • By: Rosalind Moran
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 26 April 2023
  • By: Rosalind Moran
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 26 April 2023

“What is the giant pipe?” This JEC World, Graphene Flagship partner Avanzare is on a roll

Graphene Flagship partner Avanzare, a Spanish company manufacturing nanomaterials and advanced materials, is turning heads at JEC World 2023 with a unique demo.

Attendees of this year’s JEC World event – the world’s leading composites show – have met with an unusual, eye-catching demo courtesy of Spanish nanomaterials manufacturer Avanzare.

Avanzare, a Graphene Flagship partner, is presenting one branch of their work by displaying a giant graphene-coated pipe at JEC World 2023. The pipe is striking, being wider than most trees and (hypothetically) heavy enough to flatten anyone unfortunate enough to get in its way, were it to rumble down an incline – although rest assured that it is presently very much immobile and resting on a flat surface.

Yet there is more to this pipe than meets the eye. Feeling curious, we at the Graphene Flagship decided to speak with representatives of Avanzare to learn more. Here is what they shared. 

Tell us a little about Avanzare.

We’d be happy to! Avanzare is a Spanish company specialising in the development, production, and commercialisation of advanced functional materials for both emerging and alternative applications to traditional materials.

To date, we have focused on producing additives. However, moving forward, we intend to focus more on the research and development space. We also act as a sort of consultant company for other companies that require advanced materials and need advice on which kind of materials will meet their needs best.

Why the pipe?

We chose to exhibit the pipe primarily because it’s a showcase of rather complex and very useful technology. It draws people’s attention through its sheer scale – and it keeps their attention once they begin to realise that it’s actually quite sophisticated.

The pipe is made of glass fibre, with a graphene coating forming part of the resin. Graphene renders the material fire-resistant, which is incredibly important given pipes like this one are designed to be used to transport flammable substances such as oil and gas.

The pipe also has a sensing component thanks to graphene’s conductive qualities. The pipe can effectively monitor its own condition, monitoring its surface’s electrical resistance in order to determine whether it is damaged. This sophisticated technology therefore embodies a sort of safety application – because if a pipe breaks while transporting substances like oil or gas, the environmental impact can be extremely severe. If all pipes could be like this one and be capable of monitoring their own condition, there might be fewer environmental and biohazardous disasters.

This sounds really useful! Could this technology have further applications?

Absolutely. Another obvious use for the technology presented in the pipe demo is to use it in chemical tanks. The graphene coating would render the surface of the tank chemically resistant, which would be excellent given such tanks are typically used for organic solvents: they need to be resistant and non-porous. Indeed, graphene is an ideal material for reinforcing pipes, tanks, and similar structures in this way.

Thank you for sharing all of these explanations. One last question: what is next for Avanzare?

At Avanzare, we are excited about the future! Currently, as well as continuing with our existing manufacturing and project work, we are planning to move further into research and development. We are also aiming to collaborate more with various innovative companies in order to take our technologies firmly into application areas. We are looking forward to what the future holds.

Many thanks again to Avanzare for speaking with us about their JEC World demo and their plans for the future. To learn more about Avanzare, visit their website here: https://www.avanzarematerials.com/. And if you happen to be at JEC World 2023, come and see the pipe for yourself at the M75 booth in Hall 5!

Author bio

Rosalind Moran
Rosalind Moran

Graphene Flagship Press and Communications Co-ordinator (University of Cambridge)