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Posted: Apr 06, 2012

Haydale To Demonstrate Their Commercially Effective Graphene Production Process

(Nanowerk News) Haydale, a wholly owned subsidiary of British company Innovative Carbon Limited today announces that they will be exhibiting at Graphene 2012 from 10th April to 13th.
Graphene, a sheet of carbon just one atom thick, has been described as the new wonder material. First isolated at Manchester University in 2004, for which the team was awarded a Nobel Prize, the race has been on to produce it commercially. To support this work the UK Government recently announced a £50m investment into developing a research and technology hub to explore the commercialisation of Graphene. Similarly the EU has pledged €100m annually for the next 10 years looking at the exploitation of Graphene in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and consumer applications.
The major players in this industry will be coming together at an international conference in Brussels next week. Haydale, based in South Wales and with close ties to leading UK Universities will be part of the British contingent. Their unique patented plasma based technology, which is winning plaudits around the world, enables the scaleable production of Graphene Nano Platelets (GNPs) from powdered graphite. The process can now produce commercial quantities of a consistently high quality in an economic and environmentally friendly way.
There are a vast array of applications for Graphene, but in Brussels Haydale will be displaying a range of current offerings produced via their novel patented process, including a transparent conductive membrane that could replace Indium Tin Oxide (one of the key components in photovoltaic cells and touch screen devices); graphene loaded polymer pellets; samples of GNPs and a conductive ink, capable of replacing some silver based products. The ink has many applications and could positively impact on the radio frequency identification and security industry. Haydale will have their scientists and engineers at the show to discuss these and other potential applications and to explain their split plasma process and the characterisation capability of the technology.
Haydale has now started to offer a range of GNPs and other materials to the open market under the brand HDPlas™.
Critically, organisations can now use the HDPlas™ product range for product prototyping and analysis. Haydale offers expertise in running pilot trials to evaluate the effect their GNPs have on the client's materials and products and crucially assessing their suitability for large scale production. The key to take up is to know that commercial quantities are then available.
Haydale, who are moving to new purpose built state of the art facilities in South Wales, is now able to supply HDPlas™ from stock as well as to order. A technical analysis sheet, which includes typical characterisation data and representational images, has been prepared and will accompany the goods so that the buyer can instantly see the product specification without needing to spend valuable time and resource in independent verification procedures.
Commenting, Chairman Tony Belisario said:
"We are all very excited by the opportunity our patented process offers as a critical element of material replacement for enhanced performance of a vast array of potential applications. The market is looking for ways of using the new wonder material Graphene and we believe that we have the process that can now make the commercial quantities required by global companies. The cutting edge technology has been peer reviewed and we can now do "what it says on the tin". We have proved we can personalise solutions to a clients specific needs in a cost effective, environmentally friendly and innovative way. Graphene 2012 is a perfect place to launch our technology and we expect significant interest in Haydale."
About Haydale Limited
A new company Innovative Carbon Limited ("ICL") was formed in April 2010 to acquire Haydale Limited ("Haydale") a specialist Research and Development business in South Wales. Prior to being bought Haydale had developed the ability to treat nano scale carbon powders. The operation, which has strong links with Swansea University, had spent 7 years proving the concept and developing potential customer leads for a revolutionary way of cleaning, size reducing/de-agglomerating and surface engineering nano particles. Under its ownership ICL has invested heavily in the technology which is now ready for market.
The Haydale Split Plasma method has been designed to enable the take up of nano carbons and other nano powders as functional fillers. The barriers that Haydale has overcome in respect of GNPs are the same as for Carbon Nano Tubes ("CNTs") where the plasma process performs these fundamental actions:
  • Remove contamination: Fullerene powders suffer from undesirable production residues such as amorphous carbon, and residues from production catalysts that need to be removed to fully realize the properties of the material. The Haydale Plasma treatment preferentially etches non-crystalline materials such as; amorphous carbon, catalytic residues, and most other organic and inorganic contaminations.
  • Surface Engineering: Fullerenes have inert surfaces making them not only difficult to cohesively bond into a matrix but also hard to mix uniformly. The Haydale Plasma processing can be used to improve compatibility between virtually any materials, aid wetting, improve dispersions, and enable covalent bonding. The Haydale technology opens the possibility to tailor virtually any surface with desirable chemical groups and allows dispersion to occur without the need for additional surfactants or dispersing agents.
  • De-Agglomeration: Due to the manufacturing methods for both CNTs and GNPs, and the intrinsic nature of very small particles, these materials tend to agglomerate. To fully realise their properties, agglomerates must be deagglomerated and individual structures need to be liberated. De-agglomeration and exfoliation of CNTs and GNPs by the Haydale Plasma process have been independently proven. This method uniquely enables disentanglement of the nano structure without compromising the materials properties. The analysis has been conducted through SEM imagery, surface area analysis, particle size analysis, and decreases in bulk density.
  • The Haydale solution can also provide a range of additional offerings, including:
  • Deposition: Plasma Enhanced CVD can be used to sputter molecular layers of most liquid and metallic chemicals onto surfaces. This could include metallic sputtering, or the polymerisation of a dispersant or coupling agent directly onto the surface of the nano material.
  • Application Development: Transposing great results from the nano to the macro has been one of the biggest challenges in nanotechnology. Haydale has developed its technology for application improvements successfully demonstrating enhancements in disperse-ability and dispersion stability leading to enhanced electrical and mechanical properties without the need for detrimental additional dispersant technologies
  • The aim of Haydale is to become the market leader in the provision of an enabling Split Plasma process for the CNT, Graphene and general Fullerenes value chain. To achieve this Haydale will provide bespoke solutions to manufacturers of Carbon Powders (such as CNTs and Graphene) as well as end users by focussing on:
  • Unlocking the potential of Graphene and other carbon powders; and
  • Removing the barriers in carbon nano technology
  • Supplying nano materials that work
  • Further details may be found at www.haydale.com
    Source: Haydale (press release)
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