“Multi-Layer Graphene (“MLG”) is potentially useful when incorporated into polymer composites, with a consequent large improvement in strength, stiffness and heat resistance,” the company has said in a recent press release. “This is important to the aerospace and automotive industries, where high performance composites are used to reduce weight and thus fuel consumption. For electric vehicles, a reduction in weight means longer range between charging points.”
Dr. Aristides Docoslis, PhD, P.Eng. and Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, talked about the progress made during the early phases of the project.
“We have developed a new environmentally-friendly, mechanical/chemical, aqueous-based process that exfoliates graphite to very fine, micron-sized multi-layer graphene (MLG) particles of controlled size distribution and aspect ratio. The yield of graphite exfoliation and MLG size distribution correlates well with key process parameters, which is promising from a process scalability point of view. The size and aspect ratio of the produced MLG makes it suitable for use in polymer-matrix based composite materials with fine-tuned properties.”
George Hawley of Supermin, a consultant on the project, added “Our work at Queen’s University aims to develop a mechanical-chemical method for exfoliating Eagle’s graphite to produce MLG of an aspect ratio that is estimated to be in the correct range. Preliminary results indicate that this is achievable without using conventional exfoliation methods that rely on strong acids and explosive chemicals.”
“It is important to develop new methods such as this because there is presently no practical way to incorporate graphene’s extremely high strength and stiffness into advanced materials such as plastic composites reinforced with carbon fibre. Monolayer graphene is so thin that it rapidly increases the viscosity of any composites beyond the capability of today’s processing equipment. Current production equipment can handle only about 1% graphene, and such a tiny amount will not make enough of a difference to be worthwhile. Multi-Layer Graphene (“MLG”) on the other hand should provide the right balance between strength and workability.”
Source: Eagle Graphite Incorporated