Huntsman develops graphene-enhanced composite solutions

18 October 2016

Huntsman Advanced Materials is researching opportunities for developing graphene-enhanced composite solutions, with a view to incorporating graphene into its Araldite epoxy resins and it is expected that such applications will significantly advance the market for nanocomposites.

Ultra-light yet immensely tough, graphene is stronger than steel but incredibly flexible. It also conducts electricity better than copper and can act as a barrier that not even helium can pass through. Myriad unprecedented attributes have seen this material rapidly gain acceptance as a key enabler in a growing number of applications. And for the early adopters, it’s already demonstrating its promise.

Huntsman’s research involves using a low temperature plasma (under 1007C) patented by one of its partners, Haydale Composite Solutions, which activates and allows modification of the nanomaterial’s surface energy and enables dispersion into a host medium, such as resin. Without using chemical acid treatments, which can cause damage and degrade functional performance, this process maintains the structural integrity and mechanical strength of the final product.

Taking test plates cast from the activated graphene mixed into master batches of various concentrations of Araldite epoxy resins (see photo above), Huntsman has been conducting a series of physical, electrical and thermal tests in the continued evaluation of the composite performance.

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