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PETRONAS Launches ProTough+ to Enhance Composite Material Strength, Readies for Collaborative Deployment

2024 Media Release - 21 Jun

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 June 2024 – PETRONAS has launched its third graphene-based solution, ProTough+™ under its Advanced Materials portfolio to capture new growth opportunities in line with its Energy Transition Strategy.

ProTough+™ is an additive that enhances the strength of composite materials by improving their mechanical properties to achieve component lightweighting, which is key in manufacturing and delivery of lower carbon solutions such as hydrogen mobility. 

Tests conducted on carbon fibre reinforced polymers enhanced with ProTough+™ demonstrate an increase of more than 35% in tensile strength.1 This allows stronger composite parts to be manufactured with less materials, thus supporting fabrication of products that are lighter and more economical. 

“The creation of ProTough+™ demonstrates PETRONAS’ commitment to continue innovating to provide better solutions that enhance operations, address business pain points, and create value towards supporting sustainability practices,” PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Dr Mahpuzah Abai said during the product launch.

In conjunction with the launch, which took place at the Advanced Materials Show in Birmingham, United Kingdom, PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd (PTVSB) and HyPerComp Engineering Inc have signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to undertake further performance tests for potential deployment of the solution.

Under the collaboration with HyPerComp Engineering, which specialises in end-to-end designing and solutioning of high-pressured vessels, the parties will look into incorporating ProTough+™ into the manufacturing process of composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs).

“We look forward to providing business solutions with technology and innovation through our strategic collaboration with HyPerComp Engineering. We are confident that the outcome of our joint development will offer the competitive edge that meets the needs of our stakeholders and customers,” Dr Mahpuzah added.

The JDA is a result of successful initial tests, in which ProTough+™ enabled the composite material to reach up to 97% in delivered fibre strength, thereby increasing the burst pressure of high-pressured vessels by up to 5%. 

HyPerComp Engineering Chief Executive Officer Daryl Thompson noted, “We were impressed with the improvement in strength and durability that ProTough+TM has delivered in the initial tests. We are excited to design lighter COPVs with this innovative and promising product from PETRONAS.”

ProTough+ is the third commercialised graphene-based solution, following the successes of ProShield+™ which strengthens coatings’ resistance, and ProCharge+™ which extends li-ion battery lifespan.

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(From left to right) Jake Walker, Director of Engineering, HyPerComp Engineering Inc; Daryl Thompson, CEO, HyPerComp Engineering Inc; Dr Mahpuzah Abai, CEO, PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd; and Dileezaa Lurthanathan, Head of Advanced Materials, PETRONAS at the JDA signing ceremony at the Advanced Materials Show in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

1 Tests conducted in accordance to ASTM D2290-19a Standard Test Method for Apparent Hoop Tensile Strength of Plastic or Reinforced Plastic Pipe.

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