Haydale has been awarded an Innovate UK Analysis for Innovators (A4I) project to explore the mechanisms by which the Haydale plasma functionalisation processes enables property improvements in polymers containing functionalised nanomaterials; properties such as mechanical strength, thermal, and electrical conductivity.

The project enables Haydale to gain access to world leading experts and cutting-edge facilities by collaborating with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre.

The data produced in this project will help Haydale build on the significant progress it has already made in this area. It will enable Haydale to focus the development of its entire product range; allowing quick and efficient selection of improved functionalisation chemistries that can optimise the performance of its current products.

Haydale has a range of plasma functionalised nanomaterial (HDPlas®) products which are dispersed in a variety of polymers to enhance customer products. Numerous developments conducted within Haydale have demonstrated that the use of its patented HDPlas® plasma technology is effective in imparting specific functional groups to the nanomaterial surface for improved compatibility within the host polymer. This nanomaterial surface functionality leads to property enhancements in the final products above and beyond the use of un-functionalised nanomaterials.

This project aims to uncover this mechanism using a dual approach of advanced analytical techniques at NPL and modelling at STFC Hartree Centre. The approach of using analytical facilities with complementary modelling will ensure that the highest level of information is obtained, and that any conclusions are drawn with a high level of confidence and accuracy, thereby potentially enabling product and process development.

Keith Broadbent, Haydale CEO, said:Haydale has a wealth of knowledge and expertise which has led to the patenting of its HDPlas® functionalisation process. This analysis by both NPL and STFC will provide more data and practical understanding enabling us to further understand where our nanomaterials will provide benefit and continue to develop our unique processes to ensure we keep in the vanguard of this technology.

Barry Brennan, NPL Senior Research Scientist, said:Understanding the chemistry of nanomaterials after industrial processing steps is crucial in determining the performance-enhancement in real-world products. We look forward to collaborating with Haydale on their functionalisation process.