Sparc Technologies Breaks Ground on Facility for Graphene 3D Printing Materials

Formnext Germany

Share this Article

Australian startup Sparc Technologies, a materials science company focused on developing industrial applications for graphene, announced that it has begun construction of a production facility devoted to graphene-based additive manufacturing (AM) materials. At the new site, located in Adelaide, Sparc intends to build up its production capacity for graphene-based coatings and composites to commercial scale.

A nanomaterial, ‘graphene’ more or less refers to the thinnest possible layer of graphite that can exist in isolation. Its very existence was considered purely theoretical until 2004, when a form of it was discovered by physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the UK’s University of Manchester. Utilizing a block of graphite and plain old scotch tape, Geim and Noveselov isolated the material in two-dimensional form, an accomplishment that won them the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The industrial interest in developing graphene-based substances surrounds the nanomaterial’s potential to be combined with a wide range of other chemicals, which, when successful, creates synergy between graphene’s unique characteristics and those of whatever element or compound it’s synthesized with. As is typically the case regarding advanced materials, the main difficulty in leveraging graphene’s potential lies in systematizing production profitably at scale. However, Sparc Technologies’ announcement could be signaling an inflection point in the mainstreaming of graphene-based materials.
Image courtesy of Sparc Technologies

In a press release announcing the start of construction on the company’s new graphene production facility, Sparc Technologies’ managing director, Mike Bartels, commented, “Our ongoing comprehensive testing program with global tier 1 and 2 coatings companies continues to demonstrate the significant performance improvement of coatings and composites materials employing our products. By improving coatings performance the frequency of asset maintenance can be significantly reduced which subsequently serves to reduce costs and importantly the environmental footprint associated with such activities.”

Image courtesy of Sparc Technologies

In addition to its strength, and the already-mentioned ability to be bonded to a wide variety of other chemicals, much of the recent R&D interest in graphene-based materials stems from their bactericidal properties. Thus, along with heavy industry and energy — Sparc Technologies, for instance, has a strong focus on hydrogen power — graphene-based materials are increasingly gaining traction in the medical device sector.

Finally, the utilization of graphene in coatings and composites would seem to be particularly viable for the AM sector in Australia, given the growing importance of cold spray AM in that market. Given the potential of graphene-based metal alloys for use in renewable energy, the successful combination of those two technologies — nanomaterials science and cold spray AM — could have significant implications for accelerating the scale-up of more sustainable energy supply chains.

3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis are hosting Additive Manufacturing Strategies in New York City on February 7-9, 2023. Register for the event here to learn from and network with the most exciting companies and individuals in AM.

Share this Article

Recent News

US Army Awards 6K Additive Five-Year Blanket Purchase Agreement for Metal 3D Printing Powders

US Air Force Awards 3D Systems $10M+ Contract to Develop Large Format Metal 3D Printer


3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns

You May Also Like

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: September 24, 2023

We’ve got another eventful week coming up in the 3D printing industry! There are events and conferences in several countries, including the U.S., Canada, and Singapore, and webinars on all...

Laser Wars: Eplus3D Releases 16-Laser Metal 3D Printer

Chinese metal laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) manufacturer Eplus3D has unveiled its latest innovation: the EP-M1550. The new system is the company’s first 16-laser metal 3D printer, announced at TCT...


Printing Money Episode 9: Cubicure, Sigma Additive, Bridge Rounds, Seed Rounds, and Yes…. More on the Stratasys Mergerocalypse

Episode 9 of Printing Money starts with some positive industry news as Alex and Danny discuss Vienna-based Cubicure being acquired by orthodontic company Align Technology. However it’s swings and roundabouts...

Saudi Arabia’s NAMI to Begin Qualifying 3D Printed Oil & Gas Parts

National Additive Manufacturing & Innovation Company (NAMI), an AM services bureau based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) capital of Riyadh, announced at the AM Conclave in Abu Dhabi...