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Successful Trial in FRP Structures Opens Up the Global Boatbuilding Market

PureGRAPH® products successfully demonstrated in the boat building sector with test results proving a 59% increase in ultimate flexural stress compared to existing fibre reinforced polymer composite material.  PureGRAPH® additives used in combination with glass fibre materials and commercially available resins has led to significantly enhanced laminate boat structure materials and gives First Graphene the potential to unlock the global boat building market.

First Graphene Limited, is pleased to advise on a successful collaboration with Ascent Shipwrights working on the development of PureGRAPH® enhanced composite construction materials used in fiberglass boat building applications.

Composite boats are fabricated using a composite core material sandwiched between layers of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) to create a strong and lightweight structure.

The incorporation of PureGRAPH® into the FRP laminate aimed to improve the mechanical properties of the overall composite system, whilst also providing an additional barrier to moisture intake and hydrolysis attack.

The Company reports that initial test work has been completed using a conventional high strength core material to evaluate the performance of increasing PureGRAPH® 20 concentrations compared to a control system being used at present. The composite materials were produced using existing production methods at Ascent Shipwrights to generate the results displayed in Figure 1.

 

Ultimate Flexural Strength Chart - Boat LaminateFig.1 – Ultimate flexural stress for increased PureGRAPH® concentrations in FRP laminate compared to control composite

 

Figure 1 details significant increase of 59.4% in ultimate flexural stress for a 1% addition rate of PureGRAPH® 20 within the FRP laminate. This result demonstrates the enormous potential for PureGRAPH® enhanced composite structures within the boat building industry and how the material can easily be incorporated within an existing production process.

Larger scale testing is being planned to look at a variety of core materials and PureGRAPH® enhanced FRP compositions. Further laminates have been produced for accelerated weathering testing, where improvements in hydrolysis resistance, water diffusion and UV resistance are anticipated.  FGR will provide updates to the market as test work progresses.

 

Accelerated Weathering Testing Machine

FGR’s Accelerated Weathering Tester running a 1000-hour test to ASTM G154 standards for composite materials

 

Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene Ltd., said: “Following on from the significant improvements achieved with the introduction of PureGRAPH® into fiberglass pools this is our first extension into the boat building market.  FGR identified Ascent Shipwrights as an ideal collaborator and moved quickly to evaluate graphene technology.”

 

Typical Boat Rebuild

Typical boat rebuild using highly engineered composite panels

 

Ascent Shipwrights have been impressed with the ease of introducing PureGRAPH® into their operations and have indicated their intention to move towards the use of PureGRAPH® in future operations.

The significant improvements achieve in flexural strength opens up the opportunity to provide significant improvements to ocean going fiberglass boats while having the capacity to reduce the weight of recreational power and sail craft.

 

Neil Armstrong and Daniel Roberts

FGR’s Neil Armstrong and Ascent Shipwrights Managing Director Daniel Roberts

 

Typical Finished Bespoke Boat Rebuild

Typical finished bespoke rebuild

 

Daniel Roberts, Managing Director for Ascent Shipwrights., said “Working with FGR we have achieved a quick turnaround on the incorporation of their PureGRAPH® powder into our resin process.  The light weighting and strength improvements offer excellent opportunities for our business.”