GEIC Expands 2D Materials Partnerships
The University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) has agreed further partnerships as part of its aim to accelerate the commercial prospects of graphene and 2D materials such as such as hexagonal BN and MoS2.
The GEIC, which is housed in the Masdar Building, is the University's second state-of-the-art graphene facility complementing the activity of the National Graphene Institute (NGI).
The GEIC has already registered three Tier One members and several Affiliate partners. Now two Foundation partners are announced - the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC).
Through the GEIC, Foundation partners will be a key University partner supporting the creation of a community and ecosystem within the GEIC to encourage early stage development and collaborations.
The GEIC will focus on industry-led application development in partnership with academics. It will fill a critical gap in the graphene and 2D materials ecosystem by providing facilities which focus on pilot production and characterisation; together with application development in composites, energy, solution formulations and coatings, electronics and membranes.
One of the barriers to market for any new material is standardisation, to enable end-users to be confident of quality, cost and repeatability when developing new applications and processes.
NPL's expertise in test and verification of materials has already been combined with the NGI's research and development excellence to develop a good practice guide and definitive terminology for graphene. Now as a Foundation partner NPL can provide national expertise for measurements for the properties of commercially supplied graphene.
UCLan's EIC is also developing a previous relationship with the NGI through to a more direct commercial approach alongside the GEIC. The partnership has, so far, seen the development of three generations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) incorporating graphene into the build structure to reduce weight and increase impact strength.
The GEIC Foundation partnership will demonstrate graphene's benefits to the aerospace industry through the creation of real-world prototypes. The newest UAV will showcase the effects of graphene in drag reduction, thermal management and ultimately the ability to achieve lightning strike protection for aerospace and other related opportunities.