Electronic Products & Technology

High-volume orders finally arrive for graphene industry

The industry has arrived at the first stages of inflection point - high-volume orders finally begin to arrive

March 22, 2021  By IDTechEx, Cambridge, UK

For a long time, graphene has been cited as the wonder material that will change the world. The reality has been very different; disillusionment has started to grow as the hype has not translated into revenue. For a few years, many people have been saying that the ‘tipping point’ is approaching. IDTechEx now believes that the industry is at the first stages of that inflection point as high-volume orders finally begin to arrive.

Before 2021, IDTechEx notes that the single biggest order for graphene material is for Sixth Element from Huawei for use in a heat spreader application. Other key orders have also been seen to date for the likes of wear-resistant liners, anti-corrosion coating, and PU foams. These applications typically do not benefit from the graphene ‘brand’ and demonstrate the clear added value companies are beginning to find from the unique blend of properties.

Central to this is a detailed analysis of the manufacturers, including their process, products, revenue, profit/loss, capacity, price, and application areas. The report includes over 60 company profiles of key players worldwide based on the latest primary interviews. To achieve the necessary capacity to give end-users confidence and drive the price down, graphene manufacturers have had to invest a large amount of money. Price is a sensitive subject in the industry as many like to showcase the value-add, but when it is being used as a replacement for carbon black in many cases, it will be a race to the bottom.

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The high-volume orders are arriving from multiple areas including for ultracapacitors, lithium-ion batteries, coatings, and thermal management applications. However, one of the most significant roles for graphene will be as a polymer or elastomer additive. The adoption will be for mechanical and/or conductive drivers and include major roles in automotive interiors, fuel & brake lines, non-food packaging, pipelines, EMI shielding polymers, and more.

Seen more organic growth

IDTechEx notes that very few of the manufacturers have ever turned a profit, making public or private investment essential for their survival and growth. One longstanding company that has seen more organic growth and is becoming a notable player in the field for some of these polymer products is AVANZARE. IDTechEx were told more about their work by their CEO, Mr Julio Gomez:

AVANZARE is working in the integration of Graphene Materials (GRMs) in different polymer matrix to produce nanointermediate products. This includes the use in thermoplastics, thermosets, and elastomers. Our main applications are in polyester and polyurethane resins for electrical and thermal properties. We expect significant demand for Glass Fiber composites, in rubber materials and in membranes production.


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