On June 14, Imagine IM officially opened Australia’s first commercial graphene production facility. The grand opening of the North Geelong (Victoria) site included Imagine’s team and representatives from Geofabrics Australasia. The companies discussed graphene-enhanced geotextiles.
Also on hand were representatives of the graphene production plant’s developers (Austeng), members of the Australian press, and Federal MP Sarah Henderson, who represents the Division of Corangamite.
Graphene offers high electrical and thermal conductivity, hydrophobicity, strength, and impermeability to all gases. Layers of graphene could give materials strength exceeding steel, enable self-repairing qualities, and impart an electrical conductivity greater than copper. In geosynthetics, this may create nanocomposite materials with superior anti-clogging properties in geotextiles, heightened leak location ability in lining systems, a wider range of conductive materials, and much more.
“Graphene is now being viewed as a strategic resource in most of the industrial economies of the world,” said Chris Gilbey, CEO of Imagine IM in March, when the commercial-scale plant was announced. “Our focus is on developing solutions for large-scale manufacturers that will integrate into their supply chains with relative ease and without requiring our customers to need to invest in new capex.”
In a June 13 interview with the Geelong Advertiser newspaper, Gilbey noted that the new plant will provide sufficient graphene output to meet the anticipated demand from Geofabrics Australasia for graphene. The graphene will be incorporated into geotextile products manufactured by Geofabrics over the next two years.
The initial product to be launched by Geofabrics has already gone through a rigorous two-year R&D cycle.
Geofabrics is Australia’s largest manufacturer of geosynthetics. Working with Imagine IM, the company plans to release graphene-enhanced geotextiles this year. The conductive geotextile product, which will be produced at Geofabrics’ Albury (NSW) facility, will be utilized in a variety of applications.
Applications may include heightened leak location and improved construction quality assurance (CQA) for lining systems in landfills, mining, wastewater treatment plants, reservoirs, industrial processing facilities, dams, and other containment projects.
Geofabrics will hold an exclusive Australia-market license of Imagine IM’s graphene coating technology for applications in geotextiles with this initial contract. Imagine may develop additional materials contracts in other markets. The potential for graphene is significant with diverse markets including construction materials, RFIDs, smart packaging, super capacitors, composites, ITO replacement, sensors, and memory.
“We are the leading geotextiles manufacturer in Australia and we entered into the agreement with Imagine IM because of our belief in graphene and our belief in Imagine IM’s ability to quality assure the product and the supply chain,” said Brendan Swifte, General Manager of Geofabrics Australasia. “We believe that our bidim® geotextile with graphene coating is a game changer for the geotextile industry. It will be a high tech solution at an extremely competitive price.”
Learn more about Imagine IM at http://imgne.com.
Learn more about Geofabrics Australasia at www.geofabrics.com.au.