Vancouver, Canada – Leading Edge Materials Corp. (“Leading Edge Materials”) or (the Company”) (TSXV:LEM) (OTCQB: LEMIF) is pleased to announce the commencement of a VINNOVA funded research project, where the Company is a founding participant, involving the use of graphite and graphene in high performance polymeric composite materials. The project, entitled “Graphene Modified Composites for Long-Term and High-Temperature Applications” has a focus on aerospace and aeronautic applications, and aims to develop graphene modified polymeric materials using graphite sourced from Leading Edge Material’s Woxna project in Sweden.
Aims of the Project:
The project brings together an entire Swedish value chain, from a supplier of graphite to end users of high performance materials. Industrial partners include GKN Aerospace Sweden AB (formerly Volvo Aero) and Nexan Chemical AB, while the materials research will be driven by Swerea SICOMP AB. The total budget is SEK1.7 million (approximately CA$260,000) in which VINNOVA funds 50% and industrial partners contribute 50% in kind, and the project is scheduled to run until Q1 2019.
Blair Way, President and CEO, stated “Sweden is a long-term leader in aeronautics, with both the research capacity and deep industrial support to make rapid progress in the development of new materials. We are pleased to be involved in this targeted research to identify new high value applications for graphite and graphene, and are excited to see Woxna graphite being instrumental within such cutting edge materials.”
Graphene is a thin layer of pure carbon, being the one of the thinnest, lightest and strongest compounds known to man. Leading Edge Materials first produced graphene from graphite from the Woxna mine in 2016, in partnership with 2D Fab AB.
The Project is driven by the demand from aerospace and aeronautics industries for high performance lightweight materials. Graphene-modified resins will be researched to validate their potential for surface protection or as a matrix in composites for high-temperature and barrier applications.
Graphene modified materials may provide polymeric composites suitable for use in long-term high temperature and high humidity stability applications, such as aircraft engine parts, with lower weight and enhanced mechanical properties. The project targets a 20% weight reduction in aircraft at the system level, making way for lightweight, highly thermal resistant and more durable composite components. The enhanced durability at high temperatures will increase the application of polymeric composite that can replace metal structures in the high temperature regions of aircraft. The improved mechanical properties and stability from less moisture uptake will also expand the use of products/components already made with composites in continuous operation where temperature is below 150°C.
On behalf of the Board,
Blair Way, President & CEO
About Leading Edge Materials
Leading Edge Materials was formed with our sights firmly focused on the material demands of a once-in-a-generation revolution, as the world shifts to the efficient production, storage and preservation of low carbon energy. From the lithium batteries in our electric vehicles to our ability to generate energy from the sun, wind and waves LEM is focused on the green energy markets. With a focus on Europe and assets in innovation-rich Scandinavia, Leading Edge Materials is ideally placed to play a pivotal role in the sustainable supply of critical technology materials.
About Swerea SICOMP AB (coordinator)
SICOMP is a Swedish non-profit research institute focusing on polymer composite R&D. Process Science and Manufacturing, Structural Design and Materials Science are the main technology areas of SICOMP’s expertise. SICOMP has achieved a strong position within European composites research and development and has been involved in many international, European and domestic research programs in the areas of aerospace, nanocomposites and biomaterials.
About GKN Aerospace Sweden AB
GKN Aerospace (formerly Volvo Aeronautic AB) is a leading global supplier of components for aircraft engines. GKN will provide expertise in process development and define industrial technical requirements on the development of new materials and manufacturing technology.
About Nexam Chemical AB
Nexan is specialized in the production and commercialization of reactive additives for polymeric materials. Nexam’s key competencies include chemical manufacturing services and a broad experience in high-performance polymeric materials.
Vinnova is a Swedish government agency working under the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and acts as the national contact agency for the EU Framework Program for R&D. They promote sustainable growth by funding needs-driven research and stimulating collaborations between companies, universities, research institutes and public sector.
The TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange), accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
The qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 for the Woxna project, Blair Way, President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company, and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.
Forward-Looking Information. This news release may contain forward-looking statements and information based on current expectations. These statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements. Such statements include but are not limited to, the Company’s expectations regarding graphite and graphene production at Woxna, the Company’s expectations regarding the VINNOVA funded research project, the Company’s preliminary economic assessment on Woxna is no longer current or valid as a result of the filing of a new NI 43-101 Technical Report effective March 24, 2015, and the Company has no plans to complete a new preliminary economic assessment, a pre-feasibility or feasibility study on the project, as such there is an increased risk of technical and economic failure for the Woxna graphite project; unexpected geological conditions; exploration activities to advance other critical material projects of the Company for energy storage markets, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities. Although such statements are based on management’s reasonable assumptions, there are risk factors which could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained herein. All forward-looking information herein is qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement, and the Company disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking information or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking information contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.