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Australian graphene invention in successful field trials

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Australian graphene solutions company Imagine Intelligent Materials has announced a successful field trial of a a product for coating geosynthetics, enabling leak detection.

The company said in a statement that August 18 trials found their product, imgne G3, could detect leaks in holes drilled in 2 mm thick HDPE geomembrane, down to the smallest holes used in tests.

Holes between 1 and 5 mm diameter were drilled in 2m wide, 25m long samples of geotextiles. “Testing sensitivity was proven to be constant at earth-lead distances from 1m to 20m and holes were successfully detected at 15kV test voltage, in each test, even when there were deformations in the geomembrane,” reads the statement.

The tests were independently conducted by ExcelPlus, a NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) accredited testing company.

Phil Aitchison, the chief operating officer at Imagine IM, described the tests as a major milestone for the company, which is using geosynthetics to boost its credibility and market presence before entering other verticals.

“We developed imgne X3 as a graphene-based coating that enables delivery of conductivity in textiles and on other materials without impacting the strength and other characteristics of the materials themselves,” Aitchison said.

“We have now proven our ability to both manufacture graphene at scale, and also to be able to produce masterbatch solutions that will enable large-scale industrial applications using graphene to make smart materials.”

The company opened a pilot-scale graphene plant in Geelong in June.

The first commercial application planned is in coating Geofabrics Australasia’s bidim geotextile product. According to an interview with Geofabrics in June, the graphene-enhanced bidim is scheduled for a September launch.

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