First Graphene (FGR) recently announced that is now shipping its PureGRAPH product, having received formal approvals from both NICNAS and REACH earlier in 2019. Product sales have been shipped from the Henderson facility to clients in Ireland, the UK and Germany for product development programmes.
In addition, FGR stated that research work undertaken by a number of institutions has identified that the addition of graphene to polyurethane elastomers provides very useful fire retardancy qualities. This is in addition to other well-known benefits that come with the addition of graphene. Most of this work is understood to be at bench scale in laboratories.
First Graphene has been conducting bulk sample test work in association with the University of Adelaide, on performance of the PureGRAPH range of graphene products for fire retardancy in polymer compounds. The initial results have reportedly been impressive.
The base polyurethane elastomer burnt with an LOI value of 22.85%. The addition of ca. 1% PureGRAPH to the polyurethane elastomer raises the LOI to 31.6%, meaning that under normal atmospheric conditions it will not propagate or support flame and will only burn in the presence of significantly higher oxygen levels.
While further testing is required to confirm the initial test results, FGR is optimistic that the observed fire retardancy qualities will enable the delivery of a new generation of safer polyurethane elastomer materials to industry, without compromising strength and wear characteristics.