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Gerdau Graphene launches graphene-enriched polyethylene plastic films during the Plástico Brasil Fair

April, 3, 2023 – Between the 27th and 31st of March, during the Plástico Brasil Fair in Sao Paulo (SP), Gerdau Graphene, a company focused on the development, production and commercialization of chemical additives, minerals and masterbatches with graphene, presented the Poly-G - masterbatch with graphene dispersed in polymers. The moment also marks the partnership with Sumitomo Corporation which will make it possible to distribute the product in Japan. Sumitomo Corporation is a leading global Fortune 500 business and investment company with 111 locations in countries and regions globally and 20 locations in Japan.

During the event, the first brazilian applications with graphene were presented to the market - master batches with graphene for polyolefins (polyethylene – PE and polypropylene – PP). At the brand's booth there were also lectures on the gains that the nano material can bring to the polymer market, as well as information on the potential of graphene in the current industry trends.

“Plastics are critical to many commercial operations, particularly in retail, logistics and industrial environments. Improving the quality of materials with the use of graphene has a significant impact on their sustainability, in addition to reducing costs”, says Alexandre Corrêa, executive director of Gerdau Graphene. “The partnership with Sumitomo, a company with a tradition in several industrial areas, represents a significant milestone for our company, and attests to the quality and value of our products as the Japanese market is mature and known for its attention to high-quality materials. quality," said Corrêa.

"We are excited to partner with Gerdau Graphene to bring their graphene-enhanced masterbatches to the Japanese market. We have been studying the graphene market for several years and are impressed with the R&D developments and speed to market executed by Gerdau Graphene. In recent years, there has been a strong push towards sustainability in Japan, and we believe graphene additives will be a key material to support our local customers in bringing better products to the Japanese market,” said Naoyuki Tokunaga, general manager of the carbon department.

Poly-G is suitable to produce films, profiles and sheets formed by extrusion processes. According to Gerday Graphene, the new products are lighter and more durable and reduce plastic waste by up to 40%. The companys says the application of graphene improves the mechanical and thermal properties of the plastic, in addition to its processability, and allows the development of thinner and more resistant final products. The manufacturer claims that other benefits include improved gas barrier properties, increased UV resistance, increased stiffness, and tensile strength, reduced coefficient of friction (COF), increased thermal stability, increased thermal and electrical conductivity, and improved material processability.

Poly-G has been tested in a number of industrial applications, including at Gerdau plants as a nail packaging film. The use of the new plastic film enriched with 1% graphene made it possible to reduce the thickness and increase the resistance of the packages, reducing losses in the packaging process due to the reduction of perforation, Gerdau Graphene claims. A 40% reduction in the volume of damaged packaging and a 7% increase in film productivity resulted from the use of Poly-G, the company says.

Created in 2021, Gerdau Graphene is a nanotechnology company focused on the production, development and commercialization of graphene-enhanced products, including polymers, paints and coatings, rubber and more. The company is part of the portfolio of companies of Gerdau Next, a business division of Gerdau, the largest Brazilian steel producer, which aims to undertake in new segments, in addition to steel. Based on partnerships with research centers in Brazil and around the world, and relying on a team of experts recruited from institutions of excellence, Gerdau Graphene integrates the entire graphene value chain, connecting companies, suppliers, investors, scientists, potential customers and public bodies to make the material a reality in industrial processes. It currently has an outpost at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Center (GEIC) at the University of Manchester in the UK. With its main office in São Paulo and a branch in the United States, Gerdau Graphene plans to offer more technology to the sectors of civil construction, industrial and automotive lubricants, rubber, thermoplastics, paints and sensors, in Brazil and in other countries of the Americas.

Source: Gerdau Graphene