INTERVIEW: Haydale CEO: Opportunities for graphene in aerospace “enormous”

airEarlier this month, New Materials News reported that Haydale, the developer of enhanced graphene and nanoparticulate materials, had launched a new division to develop graphene-enhanced composite materials for the aerospace industry. At the same time, the company also rebranded its EPL subsidary to Haydale Composite Solutions.

In the wake of the news, we exclusively spoke to the company’s CEO Ray Gibbs to discuss the company’s long-term ambitions and the “enormous” commercial opportunities that the aerospace industry presents graphene manufacturers.

NMN: How big do you think the market will be for graphene-based products in the aerospace industry?

In a word – enormous. In the short term, the aerospace industry will seek non-structural components such as seats, cabling, trolleys and lightning strike faraday cages to take advantage of the better, stronger, lighter benefits of graphene enhanced composite materials.

As the industry gains trust in these new materials and tests demonstrate just how reliable the materials are, in the five-to-seven year time frame, we will see graphene enhanced structural components in aircraft.

NMN: How far is Haydale off from getting these new products to market?

Haydale has already been working with organisations to provide the aerospace industry with next generation graphene enhanced components. An example of this is the work that we have done in conjunction with Cardiff University. The launch of the new Haydale aerospace group demonstrates our investment and commitment to this market sector

NMN: Are you selling directly to aerospace manufacturers?

The Haydale aerospace group will actively seek collaborations with government organisations, academic R&D groups, aerospace suppliers and aerospace organisations. Aerospace manufacturers never source materials and components from single suppliers as this leaves them vulnerable. In the same way, we will actively work with all parts of the supply chain to help aerospace realise the benefits of graphene enhanced materials.

NMN: What’s your long-term strategy at Haydale?

Initially our aim is to demonstrate credibility in the aerospace industry. In the longer term, our aim is to establish a range of nanoparticles to make composite and plastic aerospace components and structures better, stronger and lighter.

NMN: Will the aerospace division create synergies across the business?

Aerospace, as with many other market sectors that we work with, is very interested in the benefits delivered by graphene enhanced composite materials. Our cooperative ventures with aerospace organisations and suppliers to create stronger, more lightweight materials with superior conductive properties will definitely have a synergistic benefit to our customers in other sectors.

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