Bac2 (Southampton, U.K.) announced on March 22 that it has been granted materials patents for its electrically conductive polymer trademarked ElectroPhen. The patent covers Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the U.K. Patent applications for the material are awaiting grant in Japan, Canada, the USA, South Korea, India and China.
Bac2 has discovered a way to make a phenolic polymer electrically conductive. ElectroPhen differs from other phenolic polymers in that water is removed from the ElectroPhen resin and replaced with a solvent that is compatible with the resin and allows the introduction of dual function catalysts which initiate the polymerisation of the resin and also impart electro-active properties.
In its raw state, ElectroPhen is 1 billion times more conductive than other polymers and its characteristics can be tailored to each application through the addition of graphite, metal powders, plasticisers and reinforcers. Bac2 has also evolved a way to delay the polymerization process using a latent acid catalyst known as CSR10. It permits the pre-polymeric mixture to be transported and stored for several months before polymerization, adding flexibility to the manufacturing process and reducing costs.
Its inherent electrical conductivity makes ElectroPhen ideal for applications in fuel cells and other energy storage devices, for RF screening and static electricity protection, and for the manufacture of heating elements and heat sinks.
Bac2's CEO, Mike Stannard, commented: "It's now very rare for a young, privately-held company to be granted a basic materials patent. It's testimony to the expertise and innovation of our development team, led by Dr. Graham Murray, that we have been able to patent this remarkable new material. We are coming across a vast array of potential applications. We are focusing our business development efforts on the cleantech sector where the characteristics of ElectroPhen make it an ideal material for low cost production of fuel cell components."