A Teesside graphene materials producer has signed a joint development agreement with a private equity-backed manufacturer in Greater Manchester.
Wilton Centre-based Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) says it has developed an improved graphene material that has been demonstrated to deliver a six-fold improvement in barrier and anti-corrosion properties at low loading levels.
It has subsequently signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Oldham-headquartered aerosol and consumer chemicals manufacturer James Briggs, a large European consumer chemicals business which formulates and supplies aerosol paints and high performance materials to well-known industry brands across numerous markets.
AGM and James Briggs have already started an accelerated product development programme with a view to early market exploitation of graphene.
Under the JDA, James Briggs will incorporate graphene material into its existing paint formulations to deliver higher-performing primers with improved corrosion protection.
The expectation is that a new range of primers will be launched in early 2017.
Alongside this, the two businesses will be cooperating on potential applications for lubrication products given the improved friction properties offered by the application of graphene.
James Briggs CEO Tim Pugh said: “We are keen to become the first specialty chemicals and coatings company to take advantage of this exciting new technology.
“The detailed understanding that AGM bring of how to get the most out of their material is impressive and we look forward to rapidly incorporating graphene into our own extensive range of everyday products.”
Earlier this year, AGM revealed its pre-tax deficit had risen to £2.3m in the six months to January 31, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization suffering a £2.1m reversal.
However, bosses said the shortfall was representative of the business’ expansion, as it increases staff levels to secure greater production orders.
They added strong demand, which saw the firm despatch more than 70 tests samples in the period, allied to existing deals, was creating a platform for long-term growth.
The company previously raised £11m from a flotation on the Alternative Investment Market and has worked with vacuum cleaner maker, Dyson, and Procter and Gamble, the company behind Head and Shoulders shampoo, on using graphene in goods.