Haydale Launches Functionalised Graphene Enhanced Prepreg for Lightning Strike Protection
Haydale, (AIM: HAYD), the global advanced materials group, has launched a range of graphene-enhanced prepreg material for lightning-strike protection, utilising functionalised nanomaterials to improve the electrical conductivity.
The material has been developed in collaboration with Airbus UK, BAE Systems, GE Aviation and Element Materials Technology Warwick Ltd, within the NATEP-supported GraCELs 2 project where the first iterations of materials were developed and subjected to lighting strike tests. The consortium is now looking to manufacture a demonstrator component using the materials developed to establish composite manufacturing protocols as a showcase part for commercial purposes.
This prepreg material delivers a new generation of carbon fibre-reinforced composites having improved electrical conductivity. These materials can be used for structural components as well as for enclosures for the electronic avionics systems.
The materials developed have potential applications with regards to UAVs (drones) along with commercial aviation in general, and space applications. This technology has additional applications with regards to wind turbine blades particularly in offshore locations which are susceptible to lightning strike.
An electrically conductive masterbatch is also commercially available and the Haydale team has been working with customers to test the capability achieving significant results over existing materials.
Keith Broadbent, CEO, Haydale, said: "We are pleased to have developed this much sought-after product and look forward to working with the aerospace industry to see it launched commercially. We have worked closely with design authorities/Airbus to ensure this product meets the needs and requirements of the industry."
Haydale is a global technologies and materials group that facilitates the integration of graphene and other nanomaterials into the next generation of commercial technologies and industrial materials. With expertise in graphene, silicon carbide and other nanomaterials, Haydale is able to deliver improvements in electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, as well as toughness. Haydale has granted patents for its technologies in Europe, USA, Australia, Japan and China and operates from six sites in the UK, USA and the Far East.
 Graphene Composites Evaluated in Lightning Strike (GraCELS 2) is a NATEP programme led by Haydale. The programme was created to produce the next iteration of composite materials with significantly improved lightning-strike performance compared to current carbon/epoxy systems through the incorporation of functionalised graphene/2D fillers and to move closer to a commercial material for applications in aerospace structures and electronics enclosures.
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