Graphene manufacturer creates ‘game changing’ solutions

Posted on 27 Sep 2018 by Maddy White

Advanced materials manufacturer Versarien, has signed a major deal with a South Korean company to create 'smart city' engineering using 2D composite and graphene materials.

The company’s objective is to create ‘game changing’ material solutions. Doing so by utilising advanced materials technology to create innovative engineering solutions that are capable of wider impacts across industry sectors.

Innovate UK supported the visit to the country, enabling the Cheltenham-based manufacturer to clinch the deal with South Korean company, AXIA Materials Co.

As part of the contract, Versarien’s advanced 2D composite and graphene materials technology will be used to; support next-generation sensors and thermal devices for composite building panels and structural composites thus encouraging the ‘smart city’ concept, and also to improve electric vehicle batteries.

What is graphene?

Graphene is a single layer of graphite - image courtesy of Versarian.
Graphene is a single layer of graphite – image courtesy of Versarien.

Graphene is a single layer of graphite; it is 2D. In other words, the atoms in graphene are laid out flat, and each layer of graphene is made of hexagonal carbon rings.

Founded in 2004, graphene’s properties are quite remarkable. It’s super-strong and stiff, thin, almost completely transparent, and an efficient conductor of electricity and heat. 

These properties enable it to be used in many applications. One issue with graphene is however, a lack of standardisation of the material, this of course crucial to its success, learn how that is being tackled here. 

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Versarien was founded in 2010. Early on, it won an Innovate UK grant to develop its technology for making metallic foams, and has since gone on to work on several other forward thinking projects.

It has grown from a team of two people, to a company listed on the London Stock Exchange with five subsidiaries and more than 100 employees.

Its products are being tested for multiple applications including aerospace structures, fabrics and sportswear, digital bandages and wound dressings, cycling equipment, audio equipment and supercapacitors.

Images courtesy of Versarien.