Graphene has failed to meet expectations of a global
industrial technological revolution, delegates heard at
China’s International Graphene Innovation
Conference in Qingdao in late September.
Since its discovery in 2004, the Chinese government
implemented a series of policies to encourage industry
developments, which facilitated some technological achievements
and attracted additional investment into the sector.
However, according to local Chinese news service Yicai,
currently only a handful of companies can produce single layer
graphene, with most others producing two or three-layer
graphene, which technically cannot be classified as
Attendees at the event also emphasised that downstream
applications should be key for graphene development, but most
are still at the small-scale stage without significant market
Unlike companies such as Samsung, IBM and Nokia, which have
an international presence, Chinese graphene companies are
mostly small and focussed on low end graphene products, with
less investment and cheaper equipment needed for start-up.
Dongbao Zhang, president of Shenzhen Leaguer Angle
Investment Management Co., told Yicai that of 100 graphene
companies, only two or three with high end development may
survive in the future.
Xin Wang, Frost & Sullivan China, said that only two
Chinese graphene companies are able to produce graphene
products for the LED industry on a small scale. Others are
mostly involved in research and in composite or touch screen
applications rather than the high-end semiconductor field.
Morgan ups SiC in UK
British refractory and ceramics products producer Morgan
Advanced Materials is increasing its output of silicon carbide
(SiC) at its Stourport facility in the UK to meet higher
European demand for seals and bearings.
Morgan has established a dedicated SiC production line for
sintered and graphite loaded SiC as part of its seals and
bearings division, which adds to the existing output of silicon
carbide-based products the maker supplies.
"Whilst the usage of silicon carbide in refractories
industry remains high, we are seeing rising opportunities for
this material in rapid growing markets, such as in high energy
efficient applications or in extreme environments," Morgan told
Seals and bearings are one of several divisions of Morgan,
whose leading businesses include thermal and technical
ceramics, speciality graphite and refractory products.
Sintered and graphite loaded SiC is mainly used in
mechanical seals and radial bearings for water pumps, serving
domestic and industrial applications. The producer has
manufacturing sites in the US, UK and China for producing
silicon carbide seals and bearings for global supply, it told
The company sees demand for SiC increasing in these sectors,
due to what it describes as the "technical and cost benefits
this ceramic grade can provide over other materials such as
tungsten carbide and alumina".
Chris Paine, business development manager at Morgan Advanced
Materials, said in a statement: "We are continuing to invest
in our facility and our research and development to ensure we
can continue to provide solutions to meet the engineering
problems faced by customers."