Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd., one of the UK’s leading independent chemical manufacturers, today announced that it has been awarded funding from Innovate UK, under the Analysis for Innovators programme. The funding will support a project to develop a QC method for determining the aspect ratio for graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), working with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s National Metrology Institute and a World-renowned centre of excellence.
Thomas Swan is a global leader in the manufacture of carbon nanomaterials and 2D materials through patented high-shear liquid phase exfoliation technology. The ability to produce different variants and forms of graphene is of huge significance to Thomas Swan. In order to achieve this ambition, high aspect ratio graphene materials must be produced.
The grant aims to enhance Thomas Swan’s ability to measure the aspect ratio of its graphene products, which is currently done using their suite of SEM, PSD, Raman and other methods. The programme will focus on the Elicarb® GNP product line currently offered by Thomas Swan.
The project will allow Thomas Swan to become even more competitive in the field, by offering its customers a quick and cost-effective tool to improve the level of characterisation of its GNP products and therefore guaranteeing a higher quality and consistency of its materials. Furthermore, this will increase the number of options available to customers, resulting in the delivery of more refined products, allowing Thomas Swan to compete more effectively in areas of UK-focused innovation such as the nanocomposites, lubricants and battery materials application areas.
Michael Edwards, Commercial Director – Advanced Materials at Thomas Swan said, “being able to continue our close collaboration with the NPL means that we can maintain our high standard of product characterisation, integrity and quality which is paramount in the volume materials manufacturing business”.
Keith Paton, Senior Research Scientist at NPL said “this is a fantastic opportunity to apply the measurement capability developed at NPL to support UK industry to improve productivity and product quality. We are looking forward to working with Thomas Swan to deliver improved quality control measurement techniques to monitor the graphene nanoplatelet aspect ratio”.
About the National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
NPL is the UK’s National Metrology Institute, providing the measurement capability that underpins the UK’s prosperity and quality of life.
From new antibiotics to tackle resistance and more effective cancer treatments, to secure quantum communications and superfast 5G, technological advances must be built on a foundation of reliable measurement to succeed. Building on over a century’s worth of expertise, our science, engineering and technology provides this foundation. We save lives, protect the environment and enable citizens to feel safe and secure, as well as support international trade and commercial innovation. As a national laboratory, our advice is always impartial and independent, meaning consumers, investors, policymakers and entrepreneurs can always rely on the work we do.
Based in Teddington, south-west London, NPL employs over 600 scientists. NPL also has regional bases across the UK, including at the University of Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Cambridge and the University of Huddersfield’s 3M Buckley Innovation Centre.
For more information visit www.npl.co.uk
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.
We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.
For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org