Consett-based manufacturer Thomas Swan is building its export markets with the sale of so-called ‘wonder material’ graphene.
In April, the firm launched a range of graphene products known as Elicarb and has already delivered consignments to customers in Europe and North America.
Now, it says, orders and enquiries are growing day by day.
Graphene – a crystalline form of carbon that can be used in everything from tennis rackets to computers – has attracted worldwide attention for its high performance electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. It can be applied in industries ranging from aerospace to electronics.
Other local companies to seize on its potential include Durham University spin-out, Applied Graphene Materials, which floated on the stock market for the first time last year.
To start manufacturing graphene products at the County Durham site, Thomas Swan has been working closely with Professor Jonathan Coleman at Trinity College Dublin, who led innovative research showing how the material could be produced using a simple kitchen blender.
Thomas Swan is currently building an integrated pilot line and will be scaling up to 1kg/day of high-quality, few layer graphene products by the end of the year.
Andy Goodwin, commercial director of the Advanced Materials Division, said: “We found that many companies simply want to understand how graphene can help create value in their businesses. To enable this, they require a reliable, high-quality source of few layer graphene products and that’s exactly what we provide. We have been very pleased with the level of interest and would like to thank the many customers who have already purchased our graphene products.”