MANCHESTER, UK - HMG Paints Ltd, the Manchester, UK-based paint manufacturer, has joined the EU-funded PolyGraph Project that aims to utilize the properties of graphene to develop pioneering materials that are stronger, tougher and more flexible than ever before.

The PolyGraph project, which started in November 2013, aims to develop materials suitable for use in a number of key applications where improvements are needed in the strength, stiffness, toughness, electrical conductivity, and thermal and barrier properties of polymers, such as fiber-reinforced composite resins, coatings and adhesives. The ultimate aim of PolyGraph is to develop a process in which graphene can be produced and dispersed in-situ within thermosetting polymer resins, using relatively inexpensive expanded graphite as a starting material.

“We’re proud to be working alongside other industry leaders with a revolutionary material that was developed in our home city,” said Business Development Director, Steve Crossman. “We’re excited about developing grapheme-containing coating formulations and the production processes required to achieve these formulations.”

The PolyGraph consortium has been formed from key, knowledge generating industrially focused partners in each of the disciplines required for a successful outcome to the project. Looking at the key objectives of the project, the consortium makes up a strong team of organizations with exceptional expertise in each of the required technical areas.

Dr. Matthew Thornton, Project Manager at Lead Partner, NetComposites, said, “It is a pleasure to welcome HMG Paints into the PolyGraph project consortium. Their breadth of knowledge and expertise in coatings will be an invaluable asset to ensuring that the project's aims and objectives are met and that the project continues on course to deliver commercial benefits for the aerospace, automotive, marine and defense sectors, amongst others.”

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 604143.

PolyGraph is a four-year, EU-funded, collaborative research project composed of 14 partners: NetComposites, Imerys Graphite & Carbon, Avanzare Innovacion Tecnologica, YTRON Process Technology, University of Padova, SAIREM, Robnor Resins, NETZSCH Feinmahltechnik, Queen Mary University of London, Centro Ricerche Fiat, BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre, SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, the Institute of Occupational Medicine and HMG Paints.