Enhancing Tool Durability: The Graphene Revolution in Composite Materials

Haydale Graphene Inc. approached Prodrive UK, who agreed to produce a tool for one of their higher-volume programs. Given that composite tools lack the durability and longevity of metallic counterparts, the challenge lay in enhancing the product by integrating graphene into the resin system.

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Image Credit: Michele Morrone/Shutterstock.com

The Haydale tooling was designed with the following performance uplifts in mind:

  • Extended tooling life
  • Reduced tooling costs
  • Improved homogeneous cure
  • Tighter tolerance parts
  • Better surface quality 
  • Significant reduction in mismatch in the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) between materials when compared to metal tooling
  • Options for component thermal management

The Results

The current trial has successfully fabricated over 500 parts using the initial tool, showing no significant wear or deterioration on the tool’s surface. The tool is still in use at Prodrive, so the final number of parts is yet to be confirmed and is still being monitored. Haydale is very excited about the results in terms of the final number of cycles.

Prodrive’s Director of Business Development, Matt Bradney, said:

“We have been producing duplicate parts with both our standard and the nano-enhanced version and can say with confidence that the Haydale material has delivered more than 500 parts without any deterioration of the mold surface. Using the standard version, we would expect approximately 250 pulls from a tool before it is replaced.”

How can Functionalized Graphene-Enhanced Composites Revolutionize Individual Approaches to Manufacturing?

Haydale is a committed strategic partner in innovation and is always on hand to discuss how cutting-edge materials can elevate businesses to new heights.

What are the Commercials?

The cost of producing a tool is built up by several elements. The overall cost saving of the associated elements is an important factor in the consideration of a graphene-enhanced alternative.

Producing a tool involves various cost components, and it is crucial to consider the overall cost savings from the associated elements when evaluating a graphene-enhanced alternative. This approach can lead to reductions in several areas, ultimately yielding a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution.

The tooling prepreg is available in all the standard carbon fiber reinforcement weights – 200, 650, 800 or 1000 gsm. 

Conventional processing means there are no changes to the standard production. This product can be ordered in high volumes using a fully accredited and established UK supply chain, with worldwide shipping available.

Getting to Net Zero: Sustainability

Is this solution greener? As the composites industry becomes even more focused on reducing its carbon footprint, this system could play a key role in helping meet that goal. This system is particularly relevant to automotive and aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as high-volume industrial manufacturers, all of whom are committed to achieving their environmental sustainability goals.

Products with a longer life span, reduced raw material usage, and less energy consumption are, by nature, more environmentally friendly. Any product that offers less waste material and uses less consumables will have a reduced impact on the environment, either by the cost of recycling or the cost of going to landfill.

In the current context of rising production energy costs and a growing imperative to reduce fuel consumption in shipping, any measures aimed at cost reduction and fuel conservation are likely to be highly welcomed.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Haydale Limited.

For more information on this source, please visit Haydale Limited.


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