Press release -
Graphene Flagship to showcase innovations at ILA Berlin
Our project will exhibit the exciting applications of graphene for aerospace in leading industrial tradeshow ILA Berlin, from 22 to 26 June 2022.
Although just one-atom thick, graphene is the strongest and lightest material known to mankind. These properties make it especially attractive for the aerospace industry, with applications that range from resilient aircraft parts to 3D-printed devices for zero-gravity environments. The Graphene Flagship will highlight its latest innovations in this field at ILA Berlin, a think tank of the aerospace industry. Between 22 and 26 June 2022, leading stakeholders from industry, science and government will meet to discuss today’s challenges, as well as tomorrow’s opportunities.
Since its inception in 2013, the Graphene Flagship has invested in aeronautics and space. Among other things, our collaborations led to lighter leading edge parts for aircraftand the first ever trip of 2D materials to space! Graphene – as well as other layered materials – improves the mechanical properties of components, enabling lighter aircraft, while improving functionality. This results in significant fuel savings, reduced costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, graphene provides promising opportunities for human space exploration. The possibilities include 3D-printed batteries and parts, new biomaterials for better wound healing, graphene-enabled cooling systems and solar sails, key to fuel-free propulsion systems. Some prototypes have already been tested in different zero-gravity parabolic flight campaigns and sounding rockets, in collaboration with the European Space Agency.
After promising preliminary results, the Graphene Flagship awarded two Spearhead Projects to research and innovation in aerospace: GICE and AeroGRaFT, coordinated by industrial leaders at Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, respectively. Both will exhibit their latest innovations at ILA Berlin, looking for new collaboration and commercialisation opportunities. GICE, led by Airbus, is developing an ice protection system that benefits from graphene’s unique thermoelectric properties – it generates heat with little power input, all while being easily incorporated into flexible plastic composites. AeroGRaFT has worked on new filter units that will improve the air quality of aircraft and spacecraft. In this case, graphene enables self-cleaning functionalities, as well as additional sensing and monitoring of environmental conditions during operation.
Additionally, the Graphene Flagship will also exhibit innovations from our international partners IIT, Leonardo, CNR, Nanesa and Bruno Baldassari, in Italy, Avanzare, Grupo Antolin and AIRBUS, Spain, and Aixtron, based in Germany and the UK. The products include graphene-coated copper wires, for better conductivity and corrosion resistance, low-weight fire retardants, loop heat pipe systems, aircraft parts and graphene-enabled masterbatches and dispersions, ideal for composites and polymers with improved properties and performance.
Elmar Bonaccurso, the Graphene Flagship Aeronautics Champion, says: “The potential applications of graphene and layered materials in aerospace are countless. We’re really looking forward to the exhibition at ILA Berlin, one of the world’s leading tradeshows in the field, to showcase our latest products and prototypes, some of which have been developed through thriving collaborations between academic and industrial partners in the Graphene Flagship.”
Kari Hjelt, the Graphene Flagship Head of Innovation, adds: “Our project has fostered cross-collaborations with key players in the aerospace industry for years. It’s fantastic to showcase some of our most exciting results at ILA Berlin, including the outcomes of our Spearhead Projects GICE and AeroGRaFT, which promoted high-TRL applications ready to hit the European market soon.”
About the Graphene Flagship
The Graphene Flagship is research, innovation and collaboration.
Funded by the European Commission, the Graphene Flagship aims to secure a major role for Europe in the ongoing technological revolution, helping to bring graphene innovation out of the lab and into commercial applications. The Graphene Flagship gathers nearly 170 academic and industrial partners from 22 countries, all exploring different aspects of graphene and related materials. Bringing diverse competencies together, the Graphene Flagship facilitates cooperation between its partners, accelerating the timeline for industry acceptance of graphene technologies. The European Commission’s FET Flagships enable research projects on an unprecedented scale. With €1 billion budgets, the Graphene Flagship, Human Brain Project and Quantum Flagship serve as technology accelerators, helping Europe to compete with other global markets in research and innovation. With an additional €20 million investment, the European Commission has now funded the creation of an experimental pilot line for graphene-based electronics, optoelectronics and sensors.