XG Sciences and Oak Ridge National Laboratory launch joint-development program for advanced titanium/graphene composite materials
XG Sciences, Inc., a manufacturer of graphene nanoplatelets (earlier post), has launched a joint program with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop a titanium-graphene metal-matrix composite (MMC) using an advanced powder metallurgy manufacturing process.
Metal matrix composites, comprising a metal and a reinforcement material to confer improved performance, have been under investigation and development for decades. Titanium is an important structural material for a variety of industrial, commercial, and military applications due to its light weight, high strength, and corrosion resistance; however, utilization of titanium in many applications is limited due to its low thermal conductivity.
Multiple different approaches to creating titanium MMCs have been used, including the use of SiC particles (Poletti, 2008) and carbon nanotubes. Graphene-based materials, with excellent thermal conductivity, would be a suitable reinforcement material for improving both thermal and mechanical properties of titanium.
XG Sciences has the capability to mass-produce graphene nanoplatelets in high volume, while ORNL has unique capabilities for low-temperature powder metal processing. Together, the two organizations see opportunities to create advanced titanium-graphene composites.
Graphene is an exciting new material with huge potentials due to its fast electron mobility, high mechanical strength, and excellent thermal conductivity. Metal-matrix composites are an area that has not been explored in depth, but offers a very large potential market opportunity. We are glad to partner with Oak Ridge National Lab and utilize their Manufacturing Demonstration Facility to advance the graphene-based material technologies and help maintain the competitive advantages of the United States in developing and manufacturing high-tech products.—Dr. Liya Wang, Vice President of Research and Development at XG Sciences
The program is jointly supported by XG Sciences and the US Department of Energy.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded XG Sciences a contract to develop low-cost, high-energy Si/graphene anodes for Li-ion batteries for use in extended range electric vehicle applications. In that project, XG Sciences will lead a team that includes battery maker LG Chem Power, Inc. and the Georgia Institute of Technology. (Earlier post.)
C. Poletti, M. Balog, T. Schubert, V. Liedtke, C. Edtmaie (2008) Production of titanium matrix composites reinforced with SiC particles, Composites Science and Technology, Volume 68, Issue 9 doi: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2008.03.018
James Robertson, Stuart Godfrey, and Malcolm Ward-Close (2001) Titanium metal matrix composites. In Brian Cantor, Patrick Grant, and Hazel Assender (Eds.) Aerospace Materials. Taylor & Francis doi: 10.1201/9781420034721.ch18