Haydale, the global advanced materials group, has commenced a 12 month Innovate UK project, under the Analysis for Innovators (A4i) scheme, for further investigation of its enhanced functionalisation processes with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

In 2014, NPL verified that Haydale’s global patented functionalisation process was increasing the quantity of functional groups present on graphitic material. Since then, Haydale has significantly optimised its HDPlas® plasma technology and has substantially increased the surface chemistry present. This gives Haydale the potential to offer a competitive product to graphene oxide that is environmentally friendly and cost competitive as well as an enhanced dispersion capability.

Haydale’s technology has shown that it can change the surface characteristics of graphene through its plasma process and vary the level of functionalisation. Through working with NPL, it will now gain a further understanding of the surface chemistry of the graphene after plasma functionalisation. This will allow an accurate tailoring of plasma functionalisation parameters to vary the concentration of functional groups, and therefore further enhance the benefits of the functionalised nanomaterial in Haydale’s key market applications of inks, elastomers, coatings and composites. This will lead to added reliability for customers, improved material data and, fundamentally, improved time to market.

Keith Broadbent, Haydale CEO, said:This world-class research and analysis is imperative for the development and understanding of our functionalisation process. Customers will directly benefit from the results as they work with certified materials.

David Banks, Haydale Chairman, said:This grant offers access to expert knowledge and world-class analytical facilities to allow Haydale to continue with its focused product development & certification. We look forward to working with NPL and further developing our functionalisation process.”

Andrew Pollard, NPL Science Area Leader, said:Understanding the fundamental material properties of graphene after industrial processing steps, is crucial in determining the performance-enhancement in real-world products. We look forward to collaborating with Haydale on their graphene functionalisation process.