Tirupati Graphite plc has developed a “ground-breaking” graphene-aluminium composite which is claims exhibits “significantly higher conductivity and strength properties over aluminium and comparable to copper”.

    In a statement the company says it has now engaged with potential end users including a FTSE 100 company for its potential use replacing copper in thermal, power and propulsion systems, which provides “significant advantages” owing to reduced weight.

    Its properties include:

    • Micro-hardness increased >300 per cent over aluminium, which is 50 per cent higher than copper
    • Thermal conductivity increased to >200 per cent over aluminium, which is better than copper values
    • Electrical conductivity increased to >150 per cent over aluminium, which is >95 per cent that of copper; the Company aims to increase this with further optimisation
    • The composite is almost free from oxidation and carbide forms of aluminium, a critical achievement breaking the key technological barrier in development of the Composite

    Tirupati Graphite CEO, Shishir Poddar, said: “The message is clear across the world: a dramatic change in how we live is needed to combat climate change.  As part of this, stimulating innovation of low-carbon technologies including the creation of better materials is fundamental.  This was highlighted in a recent Insight from McKinsey, which said that ‘New materials could deliver order-of-magnitude improvements in emissions performance’ and that ‘graphene, a material consisting of a one-atom-thick layer of carbon, can make batteries and solar cells significantly more efficient.

    “We are deeply engaged in some of these innovations, looking to create disruptive new age materials, as demonstrated by the development of this ground-breaking Al-Gr Composite.  We are delighted that this achievement has caught the attention of several major companies globally, including a world leading FTSE 100 engineering group, with whom we are now working with to further develop our Al-Gr Composite and explore commercialisation opportunities.

    “We believe that this material has transformational potential and could be a key contributor to emissions reduction as it evolves. We will continue to update the market on our progress as we achieve further milestones in our efforts towards developing and commercialising the Composite and other advanced materials and their applications.”

    Al-Gr Composite has the potential to be used across various electrical and thermal conductivity applications with its significant advantage of weight reduction – wires and cables in motors for electric vehicles, aerospace, space, and satellite technologies, among others, Tirupati claims.

    Copper is generally the material of choice for an array of electrical and thermal conductivity applications owing to its superior conductivity and other properties, but it is circa 3.2 times denser (i.e. heavier) than aluminium and circa five times as expensive.

    It is currently working with various leading industrial end-users to conduct the next stage of product testing, trial development, and scale-up with commercialisation focused engagements.

    Next steps include manufacturing a few kilo grams of the Composite for extensive application and product specific tests, both internal and external, as well as to establish large scale, end-product manufacturing processes.

    Further development work will be undertaken to alloy the Composite with other metal additives to improve specific application related properties for advanced applications in structural materials for space, aerospace and land and sea mobility.