The PolyGraph project successfully completed its activities in October 2017. For further information please contact us.


PolyGraph Consortium Partners

The PolyGraph consortium has been formed from key, knowledge-generating industrially focussed partners in each of the disciplines required for a successful outcome to the project.

Looking at the key objectives of the project, the consortium makes up a strong team of organisations with exceptional expertise in each of the required technical areas.

NetComposites Ltd

NetComposites develops and commercialises new composite materials. The company is active in applied research, development and consultancy and has a strong presence in web-based information, all in the field of composite materials. NetComposites is well-known for its insight into emerging technologies in composites and has undertaken studies into the future of the industry for the UK Government, European Commission and private companies. The company is experienced in collaborative research projects at European and national level, with successful, commercially exploitable outcomes, for example Futureplas UK Technology Programme project (€900K), Combine UK Technology Programme (€1.25M) and Esprit European FP7 project (€5.79M)

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

NetComposites will coordinate the project and will contribute the screening and optimisation of mixing techniques and to the formulation (WP4) and end-product production process optimisation. They will also be involved in the definition and production of demonstrator components and will lead the dissemination activities in the project.

Imerys Graphite and Carbon

Imerys Graphite & Carbon has a strong tradition and history in carbon manufacturing. Its first manufacturing operation was founded in 1908. Today, Imerys Graphite & Carbon facilities produce and market a large variety of synthetic and natural graphite powders, conductive carbon blacks and water-based dispersions of consistent high quality.

With headquarters located in Switzerland, Imerys Graphite & Carbon has an international presence with production facilities and commercial offices located in key markets around the globe. The Group's industrial and commercial activities are managed by an experienced multinational team of more than 430 employees from many countries on three continents.

Additionally, our team of Marketing and R&D specialists cooperates very closely with customers and research institutes to provide the very best advice and assists clients with today and tomorrows solutions.

Imerys Graphite & Carbon belongs to Imerys, the world leader in mineral-based specialties for industry.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

  • To produce novel graphite grades for in-situ exfoliation in thermosets and for direct graphene production
  • To ultra-exfoliate graphite below 6 layers investigating alternative intercalation, expansion and milling methods
  • To investigate functionalization of expanded graphite and graphene produced by ultra-exfoliation

Avanzare Innovacion Tecnologica S.L

AVANZARE is a SME located in La Rioja (Spain) and is a supplier of high-performance nanomaterial based formulations and composites used in a wide range of products for everyday life. AVANZARE principal customers are automotive, aeronautic, fabric, wood, paper, rubber and building industries, wire & cable sector and manufacturers of household appliances and packaging. The company produces cost effective nanomaterials for the industry of: plastic, paint, thermoset, concrete, grease and lubricant, wood, textile, paper and food industry.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

AVANZARE will contribute to the project with their great experience in the synthesis of graphene, using different approaches for the synthesis. The task will be done first in the laboratory and after subsequent optimization steps; the synthesis will be scaled-up to 25 Kilogramme batches. Also, the company will characterise the materials with SEM, SEM-EDX and XRD.

YTRON Process Technology GmbH & Co. KG

YTRON is a manufacturing company specialising in industrial-scale mixing systems for liquids and powder dispersion. They have over 40 years of experience in this field and are a market leader in new developments. YTRON have been particularly successful in agglomerate-free dispersing of micro and nano-scale particles in the food, chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

Within this project YTRON will design, develop, modify and apply innovative and highly efficient rotor/stator technology and mixing to achieve the desired dispersion and mixing result.

They will draw on the following facilities to achieve the project's objectives:

  • CAD design and engineering suite
  • Extensive machining facilities
  • Assembly and inspection
  • Pilot plant for small, medium and large-scale testing

University of Padova

Dating back to 1222, the University of Padova (UNIPD) is one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious seats of learning. UNIPD offers its 60,000 students 32 departments, 34 doctoral degree schools and 44 research and service centres across the spectrum of sciences, medicine, social sciences and humanities, with about 2,300 professors and researchers employed. The work will be carried out at the Department of Industrial Engineering which provides scientific and technical expertise in all fields of Industrial Engineering. The research group involved in the project belongs mainly to Chemical and Process Engineering unit and has particular expertise in the field of polymer synthesis, processing and characterisation.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

  • To define polymers and exfoliation and dispersion technologies
  • The characterisation of surface functionalization of graphene and expanded graphite by means of FTIR, XPS, Raman, SIMS
  • Definition, testing and optimisation of both contact (mechanical stirring, sonication) and non- contact (microwave) dispersion methods
  • Testing and Analysis of materials prepared in previous task
  • Review of Currently Available Data
  • Exploitation and dissemination


SAIREM SAS is among the international leaders specialized in microwave and RF laboratory and industrial equipment for food processing, science and medicine. SAIREM has now more than 5000 references in more than 50 countries. The key differentiator of Sairem's knowledge is the ability to develop applications that cover the entire spectrum of electromagnetic energy and to scale up standard or custom made processes from laboratory up to industrial at power levels starting from a few watts up to several hundred watts. The group has outstanding reputation in international research and can provide complete technical and engineering support for designing and manufacturing the highest quality industrial solutions. At present, Sairem is the only microwave specialist that can design custom made components or engineering complete solutions, provide support for all aspects of customers' go-to-market strategy, from prototype to production, select cost-effective components, test prototypes and assemblies, and manufacture the highest quality solutions.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

Main tasks consist of the determining the best microwave-assisted techniques for production of graphene from expanded graphite and of materials with applications/utilisation in fibre-reinforced composites, adhesives and coatings.

Provide electromagnetic hardware components for microwave and/or microwave plasma processing

Consult the partners on design and development of microwave and/or non-thermal microwave plasma reactors.

They will also assist with the investigation of microwave techniques to assess graphene exfoliation and dispersion levels.

Robnor ResinLab

Robnor ResinLab is Europe's leading specialist formulator of epoxy and polyurethane resin systems for a broad range of industries and markets. Epoxy and polyurethane resins are used in a variety of applications to protect, bond, seal and insulate components used in the electrical / electronic, aerospace, automotive, sports, telecommunications and transportation sectors.

Located in the UK, we have a product design team with more than 90 years' experience of resin formulating and production. Our fast-growing distribution network covers 15 regions and we now export directly to more than 37 countries around the world.

Our products are developed and manufactured at our modern manufacturing facilities in Swindon, Wiltshire. To complement our own product offering we offer services in custom formulation, toll blending and custom re-packing of materials.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

Robnor ResinLab's main role will be to lead the formulation development work within the project and to subsequently assist with scale-up activities in this area.

NETZSCH Feinmahltechnik GmbH

Netzsch Feinmahltechnik GmbH is the world leader in wet milling technology. Based in Selb, Germany, the company is the head firm in the Grinding & Dispersing business unit. It offers a comprehensive program for the many challenges in mechanical process engineering and is especially focussed on the areas of wet and dry grinding, mixing, dispersing, de-aeration and classifying. The laboratory and production-scale machines, plus complete production lines, are used in almost all areas of industry, including nanotechnology, the production of ink, minerals or foods. The bundling of processing know-how, our extensive machine program, solutions for customer-specific problems and our global presence are unique and hence the strength of the business unit. The Business Unit has production works on 5 continents, a global sales and service network generating a global turnover of about €120 Million with about 700 employees.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

  • Contribution to screening of exfoliation technologies & selection of promising approaches
  • Examination of selected exfoliation and dispersion processes in laboratory and possible production scale

The following mixing technologies are available: rotor-only, rotor-stator, inline mixing with low shear. For fine dispersing in thermosetting polymers high pressure homogenization and agitator bead mills can also be studied at the laboratories of NETZSCH Feinmahltechnik

Development or adjustment of large-scale mixing equipment or production line

Queen Mary University of London

QMUL is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions. Research in materials is carried out in the School of Engineering and Material Science (SEMS) and through the interdisciplinary Materials Research Centre (MRI), which involves also Physics and Chemistry. Research in SEMS is coordinated within the areas of Functional Nanomaterials, Biomedical Engineering & Materials and Modelling & Simulation. Materials research has been carried out at QMUL longer than any other institution in the UK. It has a long standing history in polymer and composite research incl. structure-property relationships, manufacturing and characterisation. QMUL benefits from a vast array of polymer and composite processing equipment, including compounding and polymer processing facilities such as film extrusion, film blowing, fibre spinning, coating and characterisation tools like universal tensile testing machines, AFM, SEM, TEM, rheometry, FTIR, DMA, DSC, TGA, UV-Vis, XRD, etc. The Polymer Technology Group has particular unique expertise and infrastructure in the area of nanocomposites incl. micro-processing equipment. The group has additional processing facilities such as fibre weaving, drum-prepreging, autoclave processing, RTM and vacuum infusion.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

QMUL's main technical contribution will be in the preparation and characterisation of graphene and graphene dispersions in different resins. Fibre reinforced polymer composite laminates will also be produced and fully characterised for their morphological, mechanical and electrical properties.

Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A

Centro Ricerche FIAT (CRF) is an industrial research organisation providing R&D and innovation services for the different companies of the FIAT Group and its automotive suppliers. The core competence of CRF is centred on land transportation and advanced technologies, materials and processes. CRF is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories for the research, engineering, and testing of material, processes, and technologies, from long term research up to materials and processes validation and standardization, capable to guarantee a prompt transfer to the sectorial product design functions.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

  • Definition of demonstrator parts and polymeric matrices employed for automotive applications
  • Screening of non-contact dispersion techniques
  • Formulation of graphene and graphite filled polymers for composites and adhesive applications
  • Testing and analysis of modified composites and adhesives
  • Morphological testing for evaluating the dispersion level of fillers within the matrices
  • Specification, realization and testing of demonstrator parts for automotive sector
  • Dissemination and exploitation activities

BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre

BAE Systems is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of aerospace products and employs around 50,000 people in 7 EC Member States. BAES enjoys a proud heritage in civil aviation, producing some of the best known and most successful aircraft. In addition, BAES has a long history of designing and producing high quality electronic systems through continuous innovation in microwave and radar technology. BAES has a history of collaboration with EU partners and its size and market share make it an influential force in determining International Standards. It is Company policy to promote R&D across a wide range of disciplines and to ensure the successful commercial application of results, especially within Europe as its largest market sector.

Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) is the corporate research centre for BAES. It employs about 400 staff and carries out long term industrially exploitable research for the BAES business units and industrial partners. ATC have been at the forefront of R&D in advanced composites and polymeric systems for the last 25 years. In recent years, research effort has been extended to nanocomposites and development of novel techniques for control of dispersion.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

BAE Systems' main contributions are towards development of exploitable graphene technologies. More specifically the tasks include, definition and down-selection of materials and demonstration articles; Evaluation and development of mechanical techniques for exfoliation and dispersion; Formulation of targeted graphene modified resin systems for adhesive, coating and composite applications; Leadership of WP5 developing optimisation for translation to end user manufacturing operations; Final design, manufacture and analysis of multi-functional demonstration components and contributions to the H&S and LCA.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB (former SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden AB) is a state owned company under the Ministry of Industry. RISE comprises the national institutes for technical evaluation, research, testing, certification, metrology and calibration and works closely with large and small companies, universities, institutes of technology and other organisations.

RISE's activities cover a wide technical range, with about 30 technology areas organised in six inter-connected technical divisions. We have approximately 2300 personnel who base our service on competence, efficiency, impartiality and international acceptance. RISES's headquarters are located in Gothenburg on the West Coast of Sweden.

Role and Main tasks in the Project

RISE will provide expertise in the development of environmental screening tools based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC). This includes evaluation of scenarios of waste management in different countries. SP will also conduct tests related to prototype fire performance and risk assessment.

Institute of Occupational Medicine

The IOM is a major independent centre of scientific excellence in the fields of occupational and environmental health, hygiene and safety and has established a leading presence on chemical- and nanotechnology-risk issues through a strong reputation in assessing the risks of small particles. The institute has expertise in safety, exposure and risk assessment for workplace and environmental hazards, including nanomaterials and nanotechnology in support of industrial innovation. IOM is a WHO Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health and is contracted to provide reviews for policy support on emerging occupational health issues for the European Commission and Parliament.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

IOM tasks involve identifying and addressing process safety aspects for graphene production across the life cycle stages covered in the project, through a risk assessment and management approach, using exposure scenarios and workplace/laboratory measurements, resulting in best-practice recommendations and industrially-relevant guidance for mitigating risk. IOM's established practices in exposure assessment and risk management are consistent with BSI's best practice guidelines (PD ISO/TR 27628:2007, PD ISO/TR 12885:2008, PD 6699-3:2010, PD ISO/TS 12901-1:2012).

HMG Paints Ltd

HMG Paints Ltd is family run business established in 1930 with over 80 years' experience in innovation and invention. Based in Manchester HMG have grown to become the UK's largest independent industrial paint manufacturer with a speciality in bespoke product development and manufacture. HMG have a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise with a portfolio including wet paint, powder coatings and aerosols covering virtually every type of surface imaginable. Backed by extensive experience in developing coatings for a myriad of industries including industrial, specialist industrial, automotive, aerospace, wood finish, marine and rail, HMG has a drive to set the standards for the industry not just meet them. They are recognised with accreditations such as; ISO 9001:2008, winner of coatings care award, leading BCF member, Sony green partner, northwest aerospace alliance member, Ministry of defence A rated supplier and they were the first UK company to be awarded British Standards Quality BS5750 (FM1524). HMG employs around 200 people at their site in Manchester with 32 UK based technical and laboratory staff. This is combined with HMG's international presence in TitanHMG India, HMG America, HMG China, HMG Marine and worldwide distribution and partnerships around the globe.

Role and Main Tasks in the Project

HMGs primary role will be the development of graphene containing coating formulations and the production processes required to achieve these formulations. HMG can take samples as small as 500ml and then scale up production to full batch sizes if required. HMG will then be involved in the coating and application methods for this material. HMG can test these coatings using their on-site accelerated weathering facility and a full paint testing laboratories.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 604143.