Expanded Graphite Reinforced Shaped Polymer Composites

Executive Summary

Polymeric composites are used in a myriad of applications including automotive, aerospace, industrial and consumer markets. Balancing properties such as weight, cost, mechanical and electrical properties is key to developing a successful product. MSU researchers have developed an inexpensive method of preparing a shaped polymer composite with graphene nanoplatelets produced from expanded graphite, that has excellent mechanical and electrical properties.  


Description of the Technology

The invention uses graphene nanoplatelets less than 200 microns in length and a thickness of less than 0.1 microns produced from expanded graphite that has been exfoliated with an acid and combined with a polymer dispersed between the platelets. The exfoliated graphite can be prepared by a variety of methods including heat, microwave or radio frequency energy. The graphene nanoplatelets from expanded graphite at low concentrations of a few percent can be mixed with a either a thermoplastic or thermoset polymer to form the composite. 



  • Composites with excellent mechanical properties
  • Excellent electrical conductivity composites
  • Inexpensive process to make conductive composites compared to carbon nanotubes
  • Conventional polymer processing techniques can be used 



  • Structural multifunctional polymeric composites and their applications
  • Thermally or electrically conductive composites
  • Electrode substrates for polymer batteries
  • Fluid flow field plates for fuel cells


Patent Status

Issued US Patent US 7,550,529 B2


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



J. Thermal Anal Calor, article, 2006 

Carbon article, 2007

J. Mater. Sci. article, 2008



Dr. Lawrence Drzal, Dr. Hiroyuki Fukushima





Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University