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Australia first country in the world to use the new ‘super material’, graphene

Australia will become the first country in the world to use the new ‘super material’, graphene in the large scale manufacture of an industrial product, the CEO of Imagine Intelligent Materials Pty Limited, Chris Gilbey said today.

Graphene, whose discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 2010 is a one atom thick layer of carbon extracted from graphite. It is 100 times stronger than steel, is impervious to water and gases, can stretch like rubber and has extremely high electrical and thermal conductivity.

Mr Gilbey said that Sydney headquartered Imagine IM, the leading Australian developer of graphene applications for industry had entered into a licensing agreement with Australia’s largest geotextiles manufacturer, Geofabrics Australasia Pty Limited. He said that the insights gained from working with Geofabrics, which is headquartered in Melbourne was key to the development of the graphene manufacturing solution.

The ground-breaking agreement will see Geofabrics become the exclusive Australian  licensee of Imagine IM’s graphene coating technology for applications in geotextiles. Geofabrics will use the technology to offer Australian civil engineering companies
significantly improved capacity to locate and remedy leaks with applications in landfill and mining construction.
“Increased environmental regulations in Australia and around the world are driven by the need to address water safety and conservation and by the need for cost effective leak detection in the mining industry. We estimate our technology will save customers around 20 to 40 percent on their current solution costs,” Mr Gilbey said.
“Our graphene coating technology has the potential to become a key element of the world’s geotextiles industry which is growing at around ten percent per annum and will be worth around $20 billion by 2018 ($16 billion US). We have utilised graphene’s electrical conductivity to provide the means to detect pin-hole sized leaks in geomembranes. Leak detection is important because, undetected leaks mean that there is potential for toxins to escape from tailings dams and landfills into ground water.
“The scientific and engineering team at Imagine IM is proud that we have taken graphene out of the research laboratory and transformed its potential into a genuine commercial application and in so doing boosted Australia’s ‘clever country’ credentials.”

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