Haydale supplies graphene for Juno aircraft

Juno demonstrates the viability of graphene enhanced prepreg material for structural applications and the ability to manufacture components using traditional composite manufacturing methods.

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Global advanced materials group Haydale, (Ammanford, UK) noted on Aug. 1 that it has supplied graphene enhanced prepreg material for Juno, a three-meter wide graphene-enhanced composite skinned aircraft from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), that was revealed at Farnborough Air Show 2018.

The prepreg material, developed by Haydale, has potential value for fuselage and wing surfaces in larger scale aero and space applications including the rapidly expanding drone market and the commercial aerospace sector. By incorporating functionalized nanoparticles into epoxy resins, the electrical conductivity of fiber-reinforced composites has been improved for lightning-strike protection.

According to Haydale, the Juno project, led by UCLAN, has been a good demonstration for the viability of the prepreg material for structural applications and the ability to manufacture components using traditional composite manufacturing methods. Further developments are underway to produce the next iteration of lightning strike protection materials based on these nano-carbon enhanced prepregs. The technology is said to have performance benefits for a range of applications and industries including large offshore wind turbines, marine, oil and gas, and electronics and control systems.

“Juno has highlighted the capability and benefit of using graphene properly dispersed into composite materials to meet key issues faced by the market, such as reducing weight to increase range, defeating lightning strike and protecting aircraft skins against ice build-up,” says Haydale CEO Ray Gibbs.

Haydale worked with the aerospace engineering team at UCLAN, Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Sheffield, UK) and the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (Manchester, UK) to develop the unmanned aerial vehicle, that also includes graphene batteries and 3D printed parts.