Insights from industry

New and Continuing Advancements in the Materials Industry

As a leading supplier of metals, alloys, ceramics, polymers, composites and compounds, Goodfellow is leading the way in facilitating scientific innovation.

In this interview, Dr. Aphrodite Tomou, Technical Manager at Goodfellow, talks to AZoM and shares her insights into their approach and services to the material industry.

Goodfellow has recently celebrated over 70 years of facilitating scientific innovation. Please can you tell us about Goodfellow and the work you do?

The celebration shows the size and enthusiasm of Goodfellow and its future as a leading global supplier of metals, polymers, ceramics and other materials for research, prototyping and specialized manufacturing applications.

We are currently serving well over 6,000 customers worldwide through our network of offices. We use agents and distributors and offer an extensive range of more than 70,000 online catalog items available off the shelf. We also offer custom-made products.

I am the technical manager for Goodfellow Cambridge Ltd. I hold a Ph.D. in Material Science and Engineering, and I have a Masters in Synthesis and Characterization of Nanocomposites as well as one in Deposition of Metal Thin Films. I have a diverse background in Material Science, specifically in synthesis and characterization of nanocomposites to do with materials: metals, ceramics, and polymers.

My technical team consists of scientists and engineers who are specialized in different materials that Goodfellow supplies. For example, we have specific team members for polymers, metals, and nanocomposites. Having this experience and extensive knowledge of materials ensures that the technical team can work closely with our end users.

We try to understand the specific requirements or application when we are asked about it and to help our customers to identify the most suitable material for their application. We are also implementing innovative materials into Goodfellow's existing capital, and this introduction of new and novel materials is increasing rapidly and globally.

Our priority is finding honest and novel materials for our customers and suggesting to them which material is suitable for their application.

How does Goodfellow help select the most suitable materials for their customers, for their specific applications? What is the process behind this?

The process is simple, but the results can be profound. Customers can contact Goodfellow with their technical requests and our team are very approachable in how we deal with them. Queries are assigned to a member or members of a technical team, depending on the complexity of the inquiry. The aim is to provide customers with a tailor-made solution for their application.

This is a fundamental process which has improved over many years along with the diversity of our engineering. We have a broad range of experience from metal support, to ceramics, to nanomaterials composites.

By combining this experience and knowledge along with a critical approach, the team can solve customer problems. We provide step by step help throughout the process, and if there is a problem, we help to find a solution.

Can Goodfellow work with any application in any industry?

Goodfellow can work with the majority of industries and markets, including everything from university research groups to designers and architects. Our range is unlimited.

How does Goodfellow compare to other material suppliers on the market? What sets them apart?

Goodfellow's technical support is a valuable resource which differentiates us from other suppliers and helps users of our materials to identify possible solutions for problems encountered. In addition to our technical support group, Goodfellow can supply custom-made products, which makes us stand out from other suppliers, because the demands of specific applications can be met.

Continuing advancements in technology are putting more and more rigorous demands on the materials industry. How is Goodfellow overcoming this?

Goodfellow is keenly aware of the synergy of technology and material science. The advances in technology result in more rigorous demands for materials, more perspectives, and advances in materials and technologies.

Alongside the investment holder technologies, Goodfellow has maintained its focus on ensuring that it has the appropriate talent to run with the technology and development. We are ensuring a full speed, flexible and responsible problem-solving approach.

Due to the unique properties of some of the materials in our catalog, we can give innovative solutions which have positive long-term impacts on industries and technologies.

Goodfellow is also addressing concerns regarding pollution and damage to the environment. Manufacturing industries have realized that the use of sustainable and recyclable products or processes will benefit the future generation and that sustainable materials and green production can assist companies in profitable ways.

Goodfellow is introducing a green production brochure which has details of our materials that have either been made via a green production route, are recycled, or are biodegradable. This has been done in order to encourage our customers to use green strategies during research and manufacturing processes.

Nanomaterials and Graphene are fast becoming the materials of the future. They are playing a vital role in many new emerging applications as well as existing applications. What role is Goodfellow going to play within futuristic materials?

Goodfellow anticipates customer demands and accommodates their future applications through the introduction of innovative materials and by being aware of the latest scientific and industry trends. This ensures that we can have materials available to meet customer demands and requirements.

For example, there are 2D materials in our catalog range, which is currently a rapidly expanding area within industrial sects and in everyday life. For instance, Goodfellow offer carbon nanotubes, boron nitride nanotubes, and graphene, which are some of the most used wonder materials of the 21st century.

Additionally, there are carbon nanotubes which are prepared by chemical vapor and produced in the form of carpets or forests. This gives theoretical electrical and thermal conductivity. Usually, 2D materials need to be embedded in matrices because they are in a powder form. However, these nanotubes are freestanding, which means that they can be used as they are without bending.

The catalog also contains boron nitride nanotubes and chemical vapour deposition, which are structured like carbon nanotubes but are produced by a thermal treatment and involve a different procedure. They are very pure, and the end product has more thermal and chemical stability than the carbon nanotubes.

These boron nitride nanotubes are electrical insulators and neutron absorbers, allowing them to be used for many different applications.

What is very interesting at the moment regarding green production is that there is only one green graphene on the market that is produced in a plasma reactor and can be mass-produced. Graphene is one of the most important materials of the fourth industrial revolution, and it has many prospects for implementation and sustainability, particularly this type of green graphene.

What is in store for the future of Goodfellow?

Goodfellow will continue to assist our customers in connecting with the latest technologies in materials and in facilitating their research and, of course, in the development of applications. This can be ensured by continuously introducing new innovative materials into the product range and continuing to maintain a position as a significant supplier of materials for research, development and specialized manufacturing.

Where can our readers go to find out more?

It is very easy for our customers to approach us. More information can be obtained by contacting the Goodfellow technical team or help desk. We also have social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, which customers can use to find out more about our products.

Furthermore, Goodfellow is attending several exhibitions which are shown on the website. There are also records of presentations that can be accessed.

About Dr. Aphrodite Tomou

Aphrodite is the Technical Manager of Goodfellow Cambridge Ltd, a leading global supplier of materials for research, innovation and development in science and industry sectors. Goodfellow has an extensive range of products, which are monitored and enhanced by Aphrodite and her team. Aphrodite has a diverse background and wide-ranging knowledge of materials, from nanomaterials to metals, ceramics and glass.

She holds a PhD and Masters in materials science and engineering, has published several papers in peer-reviewed international journals, and presented at international conferences as an invited speaker. Her team consists of scientists and engineers having expertise in various material areas and processes. Together, Aphrodite and the Technical team assist researchers and engineers, on a day-to-day basis, in finding solutions to even the most challenging of research problems.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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