Italy's Directa Plus inaugurated their new graphene factory in Lomazzo, Como, Italy. This plant produces graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) and has a 30-ton yearly capacity - which the company says is the largest such production plant in Europe. The company says that this is just the first phase of this plant.
The plant will produce Directa Plus' four carbon material types: super-expanded graphite, pristine GNPs, water-dispersed GNPs and fine nanographite powder. All of those materials are marketed under the G+ brand.
Directa Plus developed their own proprietary graphite exfoliation method. The process is environmental and scalable. The process is continuous, simple and low cost, and it involves chemical intercalation of natural graphite followed by thermal plasma expansion. The company says it produces very pure (low defect) graphene GNPs.
Directa targets specific applications, as it will deliver tailored finished materials. The main four application areas they are targeting are water and air purification, textiles (flame-retardant materials and thermally conductive materials), elastomers (super-additives and thermally conductive silicones) and resins for carbon-fiber composites.
The company will host an opening event on June 23rd. During this event they will also show some of the first products that use G+ materials. One of them is a carbon fiber bike wheel with a tyre that contains GNPs.