Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) has been awarded a research and development grant for £120,000.
The cash infusion is part of a £249,000 from the Niche Vehicle Network that has been awarded to a consortium led by Haydale.
The grant is to finance the development of graphene-enhanced composite tooling and graphene-enhanced automotive body panels.
The other members of the consortium are Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) and Pentaxia.
BAC is a British manufacturer of the Mono, the world's only road-legal, single seat super-car. Pentaxia is a specialist in tooling design, machining (jigs & fixtures), and composite production.
Through development in this core strategic area, Haydale is looking to reduce cycle times compared to existing tooling methods, as well as reduce weight and increase the performance of the component material, the company said.
The focus is ostensibly on the automotive sector but the project provides a wider opportunity for Haydale to look at tooling materials across several markets, particularly where there are throughput constraints.
Researchandmarkets.com reports that the global tooling market for the composites industry is projected to grow at a compound annualised growth rate of 7.1% over the next five years to reach US$1.46bn in 2022.
"This funding will build on the significant developments already made by Haydale in advanced prepreg materials [pre-impregnated composite fibres]. The novel prepreg will be of significant interest to niche vehicle manufacturers and the premium and luxury automotive sectors, with BAC as a ready-made customer," said Keith Broadbent, the chief operating officer at Haydale.
Ray Gibbs, the president of business development at Haydale, said the collaboration would ensure major advancements in composite tooling resulting in a prepreg material that is ready for market launch.
"We know that production throughput is a major issue in the carbon fibre composite market and this initiative can ease the bottleneck.