Gerdau Graphene, a nanotechnology company focused on the production, development, and commercialization of graphene-enhanced materials for industrial applications, has announced that it has landed the first sales of its graphene-enhanced Poly-G PE-07GM polyethylene masterbatch. The additive is suitable for the production of films, profiles, and sheets formed through the extrusion processes.
The new thermoplastic products created using Poly-G PE-07GM are said to be stronger and offer greater overall performance while costing less to manufacture and producing significantly less waste across the value chain. Poly-G PE-07GM was piloted in a series of industrial applications within Gerdau’s factories before
commercialization, including as a film for construction nail packaging. Gerdau found that by using the new, 25% thinner graphene-enhanced plastic film, far fewer nails perforated the packaging. As a result, Gerdau reported a 39% reduction in the volume of discarded damaged packaging and a 7% increase in
The application of Poly-G PE-07GM reportedly increases the mechanical and thermal properties of polyethylene in addition to enhancing its processability and allowing the development of thinner final products. Benefits that can be achieved with the addition of graphene to polyethylene include (as per the Company's statement):
● Improved gas barrier properties
● Higher UV resistance
● Higher stiffness and tensile strength
● Reduction in the coefficient of friction (COF)
● Higher thermal stability
● Higher thermal and electric conductivity
● Better processability
“Thermoplastics such as polyethylene are critical to most commercial business operations around the world, particularly in retail, logistics, and industrial environments. Improving the material qualities of polyethylene has a meaningful impact on its sustainability in addition to cutting down on costs,” said
Alexandre Corrêa, CEO of Gerdau Graphene. “By adding specialized graphene additives to thermoplastic recipes, plastic producers can create stronger, more durable plastic products at lower cost and with far less virgin resin needed. Lower consumption of virgin resin means that less plastic becomes
post-consumer waste, improving the overall sustainability of the final product developed. There are also downstream effects, including reductions in manufacturing waste, energy consumption, transportation, and more. And, circularly, we believe that soon plastics may be recycled into graphene and then reused.”
Gerdau Graphene also announced that it has formed a partnership with Sumitomo Corporation (SC), a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company, to import and distribute Poly-G PE-07GM masterbatches within the Japanese market.
“We are thrilled to announce our recent partnership with SC, a renowned trading house in Japan and partner to Gerdau in business ventures in Brazil, to export our masterbatches to the Japanese market. This collaboration represents a significant milestone for our company, as SC's history and reputation
speak to the quality and value of our products,” said Corrêa. “Opening the Japanese market is a strategic move for us, as it is known for its attention to high-quality materials and is a mature market in terms of industry expertise. We are confident that our masterbatches will be well-received by the Japanese market
and we look forward to building a long-lasting relationship with SC and brand owners and convertors in Japan.”
"We are excited to partner with Gerdau Graphene to bring their high-quality graphene enhanced masterbatches to the Japanese market. We have been studying the graphene market for several years and are impressed with the R&D developments and speed to market executed by Gerdau Graphene so far. In the past years there has been a strong drive for sustainability in Japan, and we believe graphene additives will be a key material to support our local customers in bringing better products to the local market,” said Naoyuki Tokunaga, GM of the Carbon Department at SC.