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Haydale Enter Collaborative Agreement with Alex Thomson Racing, Hugo Boss Sponsored Extreme Sailing Team

  • Tuesday, 10th March 2015
  • Reading time: about 4 minutes

Haydale will work with ATR to incorporate graphene enhanced materials in their research and development programme to improve overall strength and stiffness of a number of key structures within the ATR boat.

Haydale explains that through incorporating new graphene enhanced materials in its future boat designs, ATR are seeking to keep their vessel light to ensure optimum speed without compromising on strength. Haydale, through its subsidiary EPL Composite Solutions, will work with ATR to ascertain weight saving opportunities. In particular, the parties are keen to make use of the recent work done by Haydale in adding their functionalised HDPl graphene nano-platelets (GNP) into both carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and epoxy resins. Importantly, recent work carried out with Cardiff University, UK, showed improvements of 40% in the plane shear strength of CFRP whilst the US based research institute Aerospace Corporation, endorsed the use of Haydale’s GNPs in achieving more than a 100% increase in structural strength and stiffness for epoxy resin systems.

Haydale says that outside of the obvious opportunity to improve overall strength and stiffness, the team plans a review of bearings and friction points plus critical areas such as delamination of materials and thermal heat management.

Ray Gibbs, CEO at Haydale commented “We are extremely pleased to have reached this agreement with Alex Thomson Racing. The technology ATR use in their boats is impressive and state of the art; they pay attention to all aspects of its performance. Fundamentally this agreement demonstrates the belief that Haydale materials advice and technology can make a difference in the high tech world of competitive offshore racing. We will also call on the skills and resources of our collaboration partner, the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating. This is an exciting mix of entrepreneurial flair and technical knowhow which we feel can really make a difference.”

Under the terms of this agreement Haydale will seek project funding for longer term assignments such as the inclusion of Haydale graphenes into barrier films and coatings and to investigate how these coatings could improve the ATR boat performance.

Stewart Hosford, Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing added ”It is exciting to be using such industry leading technology in our research and development programme. It is important that we deliver a vessel that has the strength to race around the world, but keeps the weight of Hugo Boss to a minimum. It is similar to Formula One in that you need to keep the vessel light to ensure optimum speed without a compromise on strength, providing the results for the title sponsor whilst racing. I am looking forward to seeing the results and using this technology in future design concepts.”

Haydale has also taken delivery of two new Rotovac HD60 plasma reactors. Haydale explains that the new reactors are now fully operational and provide increased processing capability and operational flexibility in functionalising graphenes and other nano materials. Consequently, Haydale has ordered a further three Rotovac HD60 units for delivery by the end of June 2015, of which two will be shipped to overseas locations as part of the strategic move to support worldwide demand for Haydale functionalised graphene materials.

Gibbs added “At this stage in the development of the graphene industry, customers are looking for consistent quality of functionalised graphenes in kilograms, not initially tonnes, although volume will follow successful trialling. It is however crucial that the samples provided are capable of being repeated in larger commercial volumes and that is exactly what we can provide. We now have three HD60 plasma reactors in operation providing the required flexibility to process a variety of materials for different customers simultaneously. The arrival of the larger machine further increases our capability as the demand for volume increases.”

Photo provided by Haydale.

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