Tirupati Graphite has announced that its research center has developed a 'ground-breaking' graphene-aluminium (Al-Gr) composite, which reportedly exhibits significantly higher conductivity and strength properties over aluminium and could be used as a substitute for copper.
The specialist graphite and graphene producer said it was engaged with potential end users including a FTSE100 company for the composite’s potential use replacing copper in thermal, power and propulsion systems, providing significant environmental advantages owing to reduced weight.
“We are delighted that this achievement has caught the attention of several major companies globally, including a world leading FTSE 100 engineering group, with whom we are now working with to further develop our Al-Gr Composite and explore commercialization opportunities,” said chief executive Shishir Poddar.
"We believe that this material has transformational potential and could be a key contributor to emissions reduction as it evolves,” he added.
The graphene-aluminium composite retains aluminium's key properties including its light weight, whilst adding properties from graphene including increased thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and improved mechanical properties; the properties that generally make copper a preferred material in electrical and thermal conductivity-based applications, it said.
The composite has shown superior thermal conductivity and more than 95% of copper's electrical conductivity to date, which the company said it anticipates can be increased with further optimization of the material.
It was stated that the proprietary manufacturing process which has been developed by Tirupati is commercially scalable.
The Company is working with various leading industrial end users to conduct the next stage of product testing, trial development, scale up and commercialization focused engagements. The Company will be manufacturing a few kilo grams of the Composite for extensive application and product specific tests as well as detailed studies to establish large scale, end-product manufacturing processes such as for moulding, extrusion, wire drawing and polymer coating for wires and cables.
Additionally, further optimization work will be undertaken as well as work to alloy the Composite with other metal additives to improve specific application related properties for advanced applications in structural materials for space, aerospace and land and sea mobility.