Haydale has announced that it has signed a research and collaboration agreement with the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC), one of the world’s leading research and development centres for printing and coating processes, based at Swansea University.
The collaboration aims to further refine and develop Haydale’s proprietary ink formulations to fully commercialize graphene based inks and coatings to realize their true potential in industrial and commercial applications.
The initial focus of the agreement is for Haydale, with its range of nano materials and functionalisation capabilities, and the WCPC, with its extensive formulation skills and industry knowledge, to jointly produce a number of specifically targeted inks and coatings.
The WCPC will develop and refine commercial ink formulations provided by Haydale to meet the growing interest in graphene-based inks and coatings. The collaboration is also looking at the exploitation of functionalized graphene and other carbon nano-materials developed by Haydale in areas such as transparent conductive films, barrier coatings and 3D printing.
Professor Tim Claypole, College of Engineering Swansea University and Director of Welsh Centre for Printing and Coatings, will lead the work on behalf of the WCPC.
The collaboration offers Haydale a unique opportunity for testing and further developing its functionalized materials for specific customer applications and target markets. The multi-disciplined staff working at WCPC includes many post-doctoral and PhD researchers from both industrial and academic backgrounds offering a wealth of expertise and capability to Haydale. Whilst Haydale has successfully developed functionalisation technology, it has been looking for ways to increase its offering of “intermediate products” as part of its longer term strategy.
Ray Gibbs, CEO at Haydale, comments, “Working with the WCPC is a key element of our focus on inks and coatings and is a great fit for us. Having access to a wide range of nano materials and then using our unique functionalisation process means we can provide the most appropriate material for the WCPC to use. In turn with the resources and capability at the WCPC means we can move quickly on product development. We have already successfully produced a consistent quality conductive ink that we are now starting to market. This collaboration is all about taking the next step towards the commercial uptake of our inks by demonstrating that we can successfully functionalize the right material to meet specific manufacturing needs.”
Prof Tim Claypole, founder and director of the WCPC, Swansea University, added: “This is a good example of where the expertise and facilities of the WCPC, which have been developed with the support of the Welsh Government Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme, help a leading edge Welsh company grow its highly innovative product portfolio.”
“A crucial part of this project is the development of standard operating procedures for the manufacturing process that will ensure a highly consistent, quality product. These will form the basis for any future scale up to commercial production. This understanding of the manufacturing tolerances for critical parameters will also be fed into International Standards.”
“The WCPC will further benefit from this project as it will have an improved understanding of the operating and quality assurance procedures. It will then be able to apply these to research into the creation of inks and coatings based on other novel materials”.