Graphene is part of the family of carbon nanomaterials that has the potential to dramatically improve the properties of rubber materials. Academic and commercial work has been ongoing for a number of years to establish the benefits of integrating this compound into elastomer compounds.
Graphene can be added into rubber polymer mixes – typically at a rate of less than 1% by volume – and significantly influence the materials thermal and electrical conductivity; improve flame resistance; and enhance mechanical properties, such as, wear resistance, grip, compression set and tensile strength.
The scale of the change in mechanical properties will depend on many factors including thickness, surface area, product size and application, but research has provided results demonstrating:
· Increase in tensile of up to 40%
· Increase in abrasion resistance of up to 500%
· Increase in tear strength of up to 50%
Whilst these significant attributes have drawn a lot of interest mainly from the tyre and footwear industries, advantages in more commercial applications within the sealing and gasket, marine, mining and transport industries are also apparent.
It should be noted that the use of Graphene in elastomer mixing is not a simple change to processing. Ensuring even distribution of the material through the mix, using the correctly graded powder takes time and effort. However the benefits are clear from the technical performance.If you have an application that you think would benefit from Graphene enhancement, please contact your account manager or our sales team.