Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM) Chief Executive Officer Adrian Potts caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss its breakthrough graphene technology Genable.
Q1: We’ve just seen your latest announcement about AGM’s breakthrough graphene technology for the coatings industry, could you tell us some more about it?
A1: At AGM, we manufacture graphene materials and those materials have some great potential in a range of industries, one of those areas which is pretty much our strategic focus is in the whole world of paints and coatings.
Graphene has a tremendous potential to act as what we call a barrier material and what that means is that you can add graphene to a paint or a coating and to enable it to improve its barrier performance. What that means is we see improvements in anti-corrosion performance, so it improves the rusting performance in steels and the corrosion performance in aluminium so of significance for aerospace coatings.
We’ve been developing this technology for a good while now, the clue is in the name really ‘Applied Graphene Materials’ so it’s all about application to a range of industries. So, what does that involve? It’s how to use the material, how to disperse it well into a paint system and how to realise the end performance gains that you’re aspiring to.
We have done a huge amount of work in that area to enable us to get to where we have got to now in terms of launching a product range and the Genable branding and that has enabled us to actually achieve some outstanding performance in the world of anti-corrosion for paints and coatings so some good stuff going on.
Q2: So, what does all this mean for the company?
A2: The focus is all about commercial partners and new technology to a relatively conservative set of industries such as the paint and coatings world.
It’s a real pleasure to finally see that commercial traction starting to come together. We’ve seen some outstanding performance gains with a number of customers in the coatings sector who we work with under NDA. You saw that in the announcement that one of those, James Briggs Limited, they’re at the point now where they’re imminently going to be launching an anti-corrosion primer system using our graphene for the world of automotive restoration which is a great result for us.
It’s outstanding to be nominated for an industry award simply from the standpoint that it gives us independent recognition of what we’re achieving and how we’re doing that in terms of degree of engagement with customers. It means a lot that the industry is feeding back to us that we’re doing the right things in this arena.
Q3: What’s next for Applied Graphene Materials?
A3: The key area of focus for us now, in terms of commercial focus, is on delivery of graphene solutions and that means, in reality, taking this materials’ technology and seeing successful integration into customer products so we’ve seen that with James Briggs, we’ve seen that with a growing number of other customers in paints and coatings.
It’s about integrating graphene into areas as wide as oils and lubricants right the way through to adhesive technology and then into the world of polymer composites so high performance materials like carbon fibre composites where we’re applying graphene for mechanical performance gains.
So, what’s next for us? It’s all about customer service in the work that we’re doing, as I said before the real clue is in the name so it’s about application technology so working closely with customers to really realise the great benefits that our products can bring. Ultimately, to accelerate the adoption of graphene, of collaborations, partnerships and customer engagement particularly in the world of coatings where we see the majority of engagement but then, also, in the world of polymer composites as well and as I mentioned functional fluids. Most of those engagements we can’t talk about because of NDA arrangements.
The executive management team are really confident that we, AGM, are positioned to really become that leader in the developing, evolving graphene market generally. We see ourselves unique in what we do, both in the manufacture of our graphene materials but predominately in the application of the composites and coatings markets and we’re looking forward to some near-term commercial wins that we see on the horizon.