A collaborative research project between RISE SICOMP, GKN Aerospace Sweden, Nexam Chemical and Woxna Graphite, aimed to explore graphene-modified composites for long time- and high temperature applications, which can be used in aircraft components and other applications where the demands for durability are exceptionally high. The project took place August 20, 2019 – February 19, 2021.
Graphene was added as surface protection in the project, as a matrix modifier. Composites, with and without graphene, were manufactured and tested in the exact same way for comparison and reference.
Without adding graphene, the mechanical properties in the material (short-beam shear strength (ILSS)) decreased by 56 and 84 percent respectively after being thermically oxidized at 320°C during 500 and 1,000 hours.
When graphene was added as surface protection, the composites' mechanical properties were preserved at 80 percent after 500 hours and 56 percent at 1,000 hours. Using graphene as a matrix modifier, the mechanical properties were unaltered after 500 hours and 87 percent preserved after 1,000 hours.
Henrik Bernquist, Business development manager at Nexam Chemical, says that graphene has many excellent qualities, the primary in this research project being the barrier function for impermeability. With the innovative development of material and production processes in this project, the team feels that it has reached its goal and used extremely low quantities of graphene while measuring far better durability against oxidization at high temperatures.