High-Performance Resins for Lightweight Applications by Plasma-Treated Graphene
This initiative is a large-scale collaboration between academic entities and industrial stakeholders in the European Union and Singapore. The interdisciplinary team is devoted to progressing the study of composite materials, focusing on the development of advanced technology capable of producing composites with superior strength, toughness, and lightness.
The critical step is the plasma treatment method, an innovation of IFAM scientists. This technique uses the residual glow from atmospheric pressure plasma to efficiently functionalize graphene on an atomic level. This process is projected to significantly enhance the dispersion properties of our materials, making them particularly apt for the fabrication of laminar composite materials. In addition, these materials will undergo extensive investigation under conditions analogous to those found in aerospace applications, providing valuable data for potential aerospace material innovations using the expertise of Kasaero.
Development for Graphene-Enhanced Resins
MADE has solidified a Strategic Partnership with Graphene Laboratories Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of G6 Materials Corp., based in New York, USA. The two companies have a rich history of successful joint endeavours.
In the initial phase, MADE was tasked by their client to devise an optimised composite material system capable of withstanding the rigours of the harsh marine environment. This robust system was realised through a two-pronged approach involving resin modifications and the incorporation of graphene.
The development process was implemented in three stages: setting a reference point with unmodified resin and characterising graphene; developing and evaluating modified vinyl ester and epoxy resin systems; and producing and assessing composite materials featuring modified resin systems fortified with graphene additives. This comprehensive methodology facilitated a balanced evaluation of both cost and efficiency of the enhancements.
The modifications led to substantial advancements in the properties of the composite material. The interlaminar shear strength and mode II interlaminar fracture toughness saw increases of 12-20% and 34-47%, respectively. Likewise, the flexural modulus and tensile strength exhibited an uptick of 20-45% and 14-21%, respectively. All tests were administered per the corresponding ASTM test standard, highlighting the immense potential of resin optimization coupled with graphene addition.
Moving forward, both companies anticipate a continued joint effort in developing intellectual property in the advanced materials sector.