Alex Thomson Racing partners with graphene specialist Haydale

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A collaboration agreement with Alex Thomson Racing has been signed today with Haydale Graphene Industries plc

Alex Thomson Racing (ATR) has reached an agreement with Haydale Graphene Industries plc (Haydale). The Technical Team at ATR will implement their graphene based products and technology in their latest Research and Development programme. Haydale technology has been selected to be used in future design concepts of the HUGO BOSS IMOCA 60 which Alex Thomson competes on in the Ocean Masters Championships.

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The Technical Team at ATR are developing materials and techniques never used before to improve on overall strength and stiffness, which could be implemented in prospective projects. ATR will provide a review for Haydale on areas such as the bearings and friction points and provide reports looking at critical areas such as delamination of materials and thermal heat management.

Stewart Hosford CEO of Five West Ltd says ‘’It is exciting to be using such industry leading technology in our Research and Development programme. It is important that we look for new materials which can be used in our future boat design that has the strength to race around the world. It is similar to Formula One in that you need to keep the vessel light to ensure optimum speed without a compromise on strength.’’

Graphenes are composed of carbon and in its purest form can be visualised as a monolayer of carbon atoms, arranged in a crystalline, hexagonal lattice. In 2004 scientists Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester first isolated and characterised graphene, and in 2010 received the Nobel Prize in Physics for their ground breaking research which elevated this material on to the world stage.

Ray Gibbs CEO at Haydale comments “We are extremely pleased to have reached this agreement with Alex Thomson Racing. The technology ATR use in their boats is impressive and state of the art; they pay attention to all aspects of its performance. Fundamentally this agreement demonstrates the belief that Haydale materials advice and technology can make a difference in the high tech world of competitive offshore racing.’’

Under this agreement both parties will seek project funding for longer term assignments, as well as setting up specialist teams incorporating the ATR suppliers, applying the combined knowledge of all parties, looking to improve boat performance. As part of this, Haydale have agreement with the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (“WCPC”) to join the collaboration. They will consider inclusion of Haydale Graphenes into barrier films and coatings and will investigate how the specific graphene enhanced coatings could improve boat performance.

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