GEELONG, Australia, June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine Intelligent Materials Pty Ltd ("Imagine IM") opened Australia's first commercial graphene plant in Geelong today. The pilot plant will produce up to 10 tonnes of graphene per year. It was built for Imagine IM by Geelong-based engineering company, Australian Engineering Solutions Pty. Ltd ("Austeng").
Graphene is a revolutionary two-dimensional, atomic scale carbon material with unmatched properties and is expected to revolutionize industry and consumer products over the next 20 years.
Graphene is widely seen as a new platform material for advanced manufacturing, with applications including; electronics, fashion and sports wearable technology, mining, water conservation and purification, automotive structures and energy storage.
Imagine IM has developed a graphene coating technology that enables the production of a world-first conductive geotextile that will be manufactured and launched into the Australian marketplace by Victorian-based Geofabrics Australasia later in 2016.
According to international analytics company Markets and Markets, the geosynthetic industry is expected to generate US$16 billion per year in global sales by the end of 2018, growing at 10% per annum. Growth is driven by increasing environmental regulations including the management of water related issues in civil engineering and mining.
Chris Gilbey, CEO of Imagine IM said, "Graphene is a material that is critical to the future of advanced manufacturing globally. Imagine IM's focus is on developing applications that utilize the amazing properties of graphene to enable the manufacture of transformative smart textiles, fibres and membranes. The challenge is to enable integration into manufacturing and to deliver product at scale. Our initial pilot plant will serve the needs of Geofabrics over the next two years and will provide sufficient graphene for other products that are currently in R&D. The commissioning of this plant positions Imagine IM as one of the few graphene companies anywhere in the world with a path to market. Geelong can now consider itself the Graphene capital of Australia."
According to Ross George, MD of Austeng, "We were determined to be involved in bringing graphene manufacturing to Geelong by fabricating Australia's first commercial graphene manufacturing plant for Imagine IM. We love the vision that Imagine IM has and believe that building Imagine IM's initial plant will lead to Austeng developing the skills and knowledge to build further plants that will be exported to the world."
Phil Aitchison, COO and Head of R&D at Imagine IM, says, "This project has involved all roads leading to Geelong. Austeng came highly recommended as tech enablers and unrelatedly, we have undertaken R&D work at both CSIRO in Geelong and Deakin University. Geelong is one of the most innovative Australian cities in which to work."
Graphene is the first 2-Dimensional material. It is made from carbon and was discovered in 2003, with its discoverers being awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery in 2013. Graphene is the most hydrophobic material known, totally impermeable to gas, the most electrically conductive material, stronger than steel, and harder than diamond.
It is extremely difficult to manufacture graphene in a way that makes it possible to use in manufacturing. Nevertheless, interest in commercial applications for graphene is growing rapidly. BCC Research estimates the global market for graphene products will reach US$1.3 billion by 2023, and Reports and Reports forecasts that in 2018, US$100 million of graphene will be sold for use in RFIDs, smart packaging, super capacitors, composites, ITO replacement, sensors, and memory. Imagine IM stands at the forefront of the graphene revolution.
Graphene's discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. Graphene is the first two dimensional material and is classed as a "super-material" offering extremely high electrical and thermal conductivity, hydrophobicity, strength, and impermeability to all gases.
About Imagine Intelligent Materials:
Imagine IM is the leading Australian developer of graphene-based coatings for industrial textiles and fibres. It was founded in 2014 by a group of scientists led by Chris Gilbey and Phil Aitchison, with a vision to create disruptive products and solutions that use graphene. Imagine IM has developed a licensing and certification model to ensure that participants in the supply chain are required to meet a set of standards of materials quality. Imagine IM is the first company in the world to develop conductive geosynthetic materials using functionalised graphene. www.imgne.com
Geelong-based Austeng has worked with a number of companies in the past to commercialise their technology by assisting them in researching and testing to produce prototype and/or production scale equipment. Austeng's outstanding reputation and track record in the industry was recognized when it was inducted in the Victorian Manufacturing Hall Of Fame.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-commercial-graphene-manufacturing-plant-in-australia-opens-300284958.html
SOURCE Imagine Intelligent Materials