Tirupati Develops new Graphene-Aluminum Composite
Tirupati Graphite plc has announced that Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre (TGMRC), its graphene and technology development unit, has developed a new graphene-aluminum composite (the 'Al-Gr Composite' or the 'Composite'), which exhibits significantly higher conductivity and strength properties over aluminum and comparable to copper. The company has now engaged with potential end users including a FTSE 100 company for its potential use replacing copper in thermal, power and propulsion systems, which provides significant advantages owing to reduced weight.
Al-Gr Composite has the potential to be used across various electrical and thermal conductivity applications with its significant advantage of weight reduction - wires and cables in motors for electric vehicles, aerospace, space, and satellite technologies, among others.
Shishir Poddar, CEO of Tirupati Graphite, said, "The message is clear across the world: a dramatic change in how we live is needed to combat climate change. As part of this, stimulating innovation of low-carbon technologies including the creation of better materials is fundamental."
"We are deeply engaged in some of these innovations, looking to create disruptive new age materials, as demonstrated by the development of this ground-breaking Al-Gr Composite. 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.
"We believe that this material has transformational potential and could be a key contributor to emissions reduction as it evolves. We will continue to update the market on our progress as we achieve further milestones in our efforts towards developing and commercializing the Composite and other advanced materials and their applications."
TGMRC has developed a graphene-aluminum composite ('Al-Gr Composite') that retains aluminum'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. Notably, the Al-Gr Composite has shown superior thermal conductivity and >95% of copper's electrical conductivity to date, which the Company anticipates can be increased with further optimization of the material.
Aluminum and copper are the two primary metals used in thermal and electrical applications. Aluminium as a material is light weight, is corrosion resistant, has good formability making it easy to shape and mold, is highly recyclable, and is largely available. Copper is, however, often the material of choice for an array of electrical and thermal conductivity applications, generally owing to its superior conductivity properties over aluminum. However, copper is circa 3.2 times heavier (higher density) than aluminum and over circa 5 times as expensive ordinarily.
The Al-Gr Composite developed by TGMRC, with its high conductivity properties and improved mechanical strength, has strong potential to substitute or displace the use of copper across various high-tech, weight sensitive, electrical and thermal conductivity applications, including in wires and cables in motors for electric vehicles, aerospace, space and satellite technologies, and in heat exchangers, heat sinks and similar thermal conductivity applications such as solar water heaters.
Importantly, the proprietary manufacturing process which has been developed by Tirupati is commercially scalable, tested and has already been used to manufacture batches of over two hundred grams of the pioneering Al-Gr Composite.
Metal Matrix Composites ('MMC') with graphene have extensive prospects for and a wide range of possible technological applications based on their physical, electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Factors such as weight percentage, volume fraction, size, shape, and orientation can have a significant impact on the nature of the final composite material and its usefulness/effectiveness in various application arenas. The successful development of the Al-Gr Composite opens the doors for the Company to work on other forms of advanced and MMC materials as well.