what we can develop
NanoXplore supports innovators in the plastics, transportation, electronics, packaging, performance clothing, and energy storage industries, helping to enhance the thermal, electrical, and physical characteristics of customers’ products, while replacing harmful and expensive additives.
graphene new materials
Electrification offers vast opportunities for new technologies and materials for light-weighting, secure & safer autonomous vehicles, and lower cost yet stronger and more durable components. Graphene offers a range of material solutions to meet these challenges.
The automotive industry faces an increasingly difficult challenge: meeting ever-tougher environmental regulations and efficiency standards while continuing to satisfy customers’ unending demands for increased performance and quality. Commercial vehicle suppliers – makers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses— face even more daunting challenges. Governments have quickly turned their attention to these vehicles and have enacted very tough regulations, coming into force over a short time frame. Electrification of commercial vehicles is one disruptive answer to this challenge.
CEO Elon Musk announced in July 2016 that Tesla Motors had both electric buses and trucks under development, with release planned in 2017. A week before Tesla’s announcement, Daimler announced its all-electric truck, the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck. Production release is scheduled for 2020. And China has gone crazy for electric buses: by mid-2015, there were more than 120,000 on the road. By 2020, China is expected to account for more than 50% of the global electric bus market of approximately 35,000 new units per year.
There is no doubt that without significant electrification of commercial vehicles, governments’ ambitious GHG reduction targets will be very hard to reach. However, the technology is not yet ready— today’s electric vehicles suffer from significant range issues. These issues stem from too-heavy vehicles carrying batteries with too-poor performance. One technology offers a way to both significantly reduce the weight of commercial vehicles and dramatically improve the performance of batteries. That technology is graphene.
GRAPHENE-ENHANCED PLASTICS FOR VEHICLE WEIGHT REDUCTION
Electrification of vehicles will require cost-effective, weight-reduction solutions. Adding graphene to plastics enhances their properties significantly, enabling them to replace metals and existing plastics, while sharply reducing weight.
The use of composites in commercial vehicles can lead to an overall vehicle weight reduction of up to 10%. In addition to this, tooling investments can be reduced up to 50-70%. In one assembly, composites can typically replace eight metal parts, reducing part counts, increasing production throughput, and reducing costs associated with the assembly and tooling.
Technical limitations are impeding further growth of plastics in the transportation industry. Lower mechanical properties in comparison with metals, low thermal conductivity, and weak abrasion properties are the main obstacles. Adding graphene to plastics enhances these properties significantly while sharply reducing weight. And electrification of vehicles will require much more extreme weight reduction than has previously been offered by today’s engineered plastics.
GRAPHENE IN LI-ION BATTERIES FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Graphene composites are especially suited to electrode-based energy solutions, and specifically for improving the performance of Li-ion anodes and future LiS cathodes. Graphene composite anodes, fabricated using a composite of graphene and silicon, have demonstrated much better performance in the areas of power density, energy density, and battery cycle life. Graphene composites often provide production advantages, while also helping to address the overheating and swelling problems often experienced by advanced battery cells.
high barrier performance
Graphene enables plastics for chemical, pharmaceutical and food packaging with numerous advantages such as:
1. Improved barrier materials to prevent spoilage, oxygen absorption
2. Lighter, stronger, and more heat resistant packaging material
3. Prevention of electrostatic charge
Graphene-enhanced plastics have many advantages for packaging.
Multilayer plastics are currently used for high barrier performance, often laminates of plastics and metal foils. These materials are very difficult to recycle and often must be separated from the recycling stream. Graphene-enhanced plastics have such good barrier performance that they permit recyclable monolayer plastics. And monolayer plastics are much easier to make and therefore generally cheaper than multi-layer materials.
Gasoline is highly volatile and enhanced barrier performance can limit losses due to evaporation. And graphene-enhanced containers also prevent static electric charge build up, reducing explosion risk. High barrier plastic containers have many industrial uses such as for chemical, solvent and fuel containers. Plastic jerrycans are used extensively in consumer, industrial and military markets. Recreational vehicles have fuel reservoirs made from a multi-layer plastic construction. These reservoirs need to be light but strong and impermeable to oxygen and water vapour.
Graphene enhanced plastics can replace heavy, shatter-prone glass bottles by tough and lightweight plastic containers. This avoids product loss during transport and can significantly reduce fuel requirements for transportation.
Graphene enables strong and lightweight enclosures with improved thermal management and electromagnetic shielding for high-speed servers, 5G wireless networks, and the emerging world of the Internet of Things
Plastic composite enclosures are revolutionising the world of electronic enclosures in markets as diverse as consumer electronics, telecom, IT, aerospace and defence. This is especially true where high performance electronics are combined with mobility. Polymer composites replicate the strength of metals, while offering weight savings, corrosion resistance, and low cost. The initial attraction of composite enclosures is weight savings—they can be 40% lighter than an aluminum one. In aircraft and satellites, any weight savings translates into an important performance improvement. Airplanes have better fuel economy, UAVs can fly longer or carry more sensors, and more capable satellites can be launched for less money.
Until recently however, composites have been excluded from many valuable enclosure applications because they provided no electromagnetic shielding, and had no ability to dissipate heat. Graphene-enhanced plastics provide excellent shielding, especially at higher frequencies (above 5 GHz). They also provide moderate thermal dissipation capability; this capability, along with clever component design, can provide adequate thermal management in many applications while providing elevated temperature ranges for many thermoplastics. And graphene-enhanced plastics do not interfere with normal plastic processing and forming techniques.
NanoXplore’s graphene is especially suited to electrode-based energy solutions and specifically, for improving the performance of Li-ion batteries. NanoXplore is actively developing materials to improve both energy capacity and charge rates.
GRAPHENE FOR PRINTED AND FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS
Graphene materials enable highly functional, mechanically flexible devices fabricated by large area and high speed printing processes, and applied to a wide array of substrates with a broad range of form factors (conformal, curved, light weight). This provides the capability for novel devices with better durability, high-levels of functional integration and produced using mass production processes with high yields and low costs.