Conductive Sheet Molding Compound (SMC)


Executive Summary

Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) is used in a myriad of applications including automotive, aerospace, industrial and consumer markets. In some applications the SMC needs to be or be made conductive, but this can require expensive ingredients or process steps. MSU researchers have developed a SMC composite which is conductive and may be electrostatically painted without the need for a conductive primer. The composite has superior mechanical and conductivity properties, low permeability, scratch resistance, and reduced flammability.


Description of the Technology

The invention uses graphene nanoplatelets produced from graphite dispersed in an SMC formulation to provide surface conductivity for painting and adhesion and other attributes desired in manufacturing. The graphene nanoplatelets can be dispersed in the neat resin, can coat the glass fibers, and/or can coat calcium carbonate particulates within the SMC compound. Only a small amount of exfoliated graphite (<5%) is added to achieve dramatic increases in electrical conductivity



  • Graphene nanoplatelets are a relatively low-cost starting material and o small amount is needed for imparting electrical conductivity to the SMC
  • The graphene nanoplatelet modified SMC does not require addition of a conductive primer layer for painting
  • SMC modified by the addition of the graphene nanoplatelets has low permeability, increased thermal conductivity, good scratch resistance, and reduced flammability
  • Standard SMC formulations can be modified by adding the graphene nanoplatelets to the resin, onto the reinforcement or filler surface  



  • Automotive body and structural components, and electronic devices industries
  • SMC, reinforced fiberglass
  • Surface modification of SMC fibers, fillers,


Patent Status

Issued US Patent US 8,017,228 B2


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



Liu W., Fukushima H., Do, I., and Drzal L. T. (2007)  “Coating of Glass fiber with exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets to improve conductivity” 4th Annual Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Research Forum, April 5-6, 2007, Lansing, MI



Dr. Lawrence Drzal, Dr. Hiroyuki Fukushima, Dr. Wanjun Liu,





Patent Information: