Haydale is pleased to announce the launch, by its subsidiary Haydale Composites Solutions Ltd (“HCS”) of new graphene enhanced composite products at the JEC Composites Show in Paris.
New Generation of Graphene Reinforced Carbon Fibre pre-impregnated composite fibre products launch in collaboration with SHD Composites.

Three graphene enhanced carbon fibre pre-impregnated composite fibre (“prepreg”) products have been developed in collaboration with SHD Composites Limited (“SHD”), based in Lincolnshire, UK utilising Huntsman Advanced Materials (“Huntsman”) epoxy resins to be marketed by SHD and HCS.

The three products to be launched by SHD and HCS are:

1. a structural component carbon fibre prepreg with improved toughness and mechanical properties initially aimed at the automotive, marine and sports goods sectors;
2. a prototype “Out-of-Autoclave” curing carbon fibre tooling prepreg capable of being used for fast composite part production in autoclave processing; and
3. higher operating temperature autoclave tooling prepreg for enhanced life and very high accuracy (stability) tooling.

Carbon fibre composites are widely used in many applications in aerospace, automotive, and sports goods. As announced on 2 June 2014, researchers have established that using Haydale functionalised GNP’s significantly improve both strength and toughness in epoxy composites. These new products will simplify the manufacturing process of the carbon fibre prepreg and so reduce time and costs of manufacture whilst also improving the material properties.

The market for epoxy resins used in autoclave tooling is estimated to be worth in 2015 $ 1.25bn * annually and is not subject to the highly regulatory requirements associated with the likes of the aerospace and automotive sectors.

Commenting, HCS managing director Gerry Boyce said: “We are very excited about the significant improvements in thermal and mechanical performance of graphene enhanced carbon epoxy prepreg structures and look forward to further developing a novel generation of composite materials to improve everyday products in use today, especially in the sporting goods, marine and automotive markets. The tooling market is substantial and offers near term possibilities especially as our offering provides improved “tooling” performance. We believe we are on the verge of a whole new range of graphene based polymer nanocomposites with some exciting and unique properties.

Nick Smith, Technical Director of SHD added: “As part of our commitment to remain at the forefront of composites technology we feel it is vital to explore the benefits that graphene can bring to our products. We see great potential in this exciting material to enhance the performance of our range of component and tooling materials.

Dr David Hatrick, European Technology Director at Huntsman commented: “We are making good progress in the initial stages of our collaborative development with Haydale and have been impressed with the improvements delivered in thermal and electrical conductivity in particular. This work is the platform for development of a range of new graphene enhanced Araldite® resins which will be targeted at the industrial composites, automotive and aerospace markets. The next stage of development will focus on demonstration of these resins in carbon fibre composites manufactured with a range of typical processes used by our end customers. In parallel, we look forward to extending our relationship further with Haydale to maximise the commercial potential of this exciting new technology.

First Graphene enhanced Composite Structural Panel for a Road-Going Car HCS, working with BAC, a leading UK supercar company, has developed a graphene enhanced body panel for the BAC Mono single seat road car. The increased strength of the graphene enhanced epoxy resin has delivered a significant weight and cost reduction.

Ian Briggs, BAC’s co-founder and Design Director, said: “This shows what is possible through the application of cutting edge design and technology. What we can save in mass on structures we can deliver to our customers in terms of improved performance. At BAC we focus heavily on innovation and we were delighted to work with graphene composite industry leaders Haydale on this project. It marks another world first for BAC and the beginning of a project with a broad range of exciting possibilities.”

* ACMITE Market Intelligence Report – Global Epoxy Resin Market March 2014.