Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (TSXV: ZEN) is pleased to announce preliminary research findings from University of Toronto that point to significant improvements in the compressive and flexural strength of cement when graphene products derived from Albany Graphite are combined with the cement.
Including graphene in quantities of as little as 0.02% increased the compressive strength of cured cement paste by up to 39%, according to research conducted by Professor Daman Panesar and her team at University of Toronto’s Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, where she is one of the inaugural recipients of the Erwin Edward Hart Professorship in Civil Engineering. A broad objective of Prof. Panesar’s research is to advance concrete technologies by investigating new types of concrete to reduce environmental impact, improve economic feasibility, achieve desired plastic and mechanical properties, and improve long-term durability performance. Although still at a preliminary stage, Prof. Panesar’s work confirms and builds upon research that was previously conducted at Ben-Gurion University in Israel by Prof. Oren Regev and his team.
“These encouraging preliminary results strengthen the business case for using graphene in concrete,” said Dr. Francis Dubé, Zenyatta’s Co-Chief Executive Officer and Head of Business Development. “With such a low graphene loading, Zenyatta may now be able to pursue the ready-mix concrete market which is much larger than the significantly smaller volume Ultra-High Performance concrete market.” The ready-mix concrete market is estimated at US$500 Billion per year.
For the current round of research, three forms of Graphene-based materials – graphene, graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide – were systematically tested. The three types of graphene material were mixed with cement in a range of concentrations, from 0.01% to 0.16% of the cement weight, and the results compared to a control specimen comprised of 100% Portland cement paste (without graphene).
Adding any of the three graphene materials improved both the compressive and flexural strength at 3, 14 and 28 days, by varying degrees. At the 28-day mark, the inclusion of graphene materials improved compressive and flexural strength by a maximum of 39% (for 0.02% graphene) and 84% (for 0.04% reduced graphene oxide), respectively, compared to the control cement paste. Furthermore, all three forms of graphene materials improved the cement paste’s transport properties at 28 days. (Transport properties are related to the porosity of the resulting composite: The lower the porosity the better, as it reduces fluid flow through the material and potentially results in a higher durability.) The microstructural analysis and transport properties of 28-day old graphene-cement composites showed that the presence of graphene materials densified the composite microstructure.
The dispersion of the graphene is a key factor in achieving these results, and graphene derived from Zenyatta’s unique Albany Graphite deposit has particularly good dispersion qualities. Previous research by Prof. Yoshihiko Arao and Prof. Masatoshi Kubouchi at Japan’s Tokyo Institute of Technology concluded “The optical absorbance of the Zenyatta graphene was 2-10 times better than the other three tested reference samples which demonstrate concentrated graphene dispersion.”
Zenyatta will continue to work with Prof. Panesar and her team as they study in greater depth graphene-infused cement-based composites, including graphene dispersion techniques, repeatability of results, the long-term properties of graphene-cement composites as well as their performance in more complex cement-based systems such as mortar and concrete.
Prof. Panesar’s research was supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the NSERC Engage Funding Program. Zenyatta also acknowledges the contributions of Prof. Aicheng Chen at University of Guelph who provided the graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide for Prof. Panesar’s research, and Prof. Giovanni Fanchini at Western University who provided the graphene – which were all produced from graphite samples provided by Zenyatta from its Albany deposit.
Mr. Peter Wood, P.Eng, P.Geo., Vice President of Zenyatta, is the “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.
For further information:
Dr. Francis Dubé, Co-CEO & Head of Business Development and Technology
Tel: +1 (289) 821-2820
Zenyatta’s Albany Graphite Project hosts a large and unique quality deposit of highly crystalline graphite. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada have demonstrated that Zenyatta’s Albany Graphite/Naturally PureTM easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene using a variety of simple mechanical and chemical methods. The deposit is located in northern Ontario just 30km north of the Trans-Canada Highway, near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. Important nearby infrastructure include hydro-power, natural gas pipeline, a rail line 50 km away and an all-weather road just 10 km from the deposit.
To find out more on Zenyatta Ventures Ltd., please visit our website at www.zenyatta.ca. A copy of this press release and all material documents with respect of the Company may be obtained on Zenyatta’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.ca.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain forward looking information and Zenyatta cautions readers that forward looking information is based on certain assumptions and risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations of Zenyatta included in this news release. This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements”, which often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as “potential”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “expects”, “estimates”, “may”, “could”, “would”, “will”, or “plan”. These statements are based on information currently available to Zenyatta and Zenyatta provides no assurance that actual results will meet management’s expectations. Forward-looking statements include estimates and statements with respect to Zenyatta’s future plans, objectives or goals, to the effect that Zenyatta or management expects a stated condition or result to occur, including the expected uses for graphite or graphene in the future, and the future uses of the graphite from Zenyatta’s Albany deposit. Since forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results relating to, among other things, results of metallurgical processing, ongoing exploration, project development, reclamation and capital costs of Zenyatta’s mineral properties, and Zenyatta’s financial condition and prospects, could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements for many reasons such as, but are not limited to: failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves; the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results; the inability to identify target markets and satisfy the product criteria for such markets; the inability to complete a prefeasibility study; the inability to enter into offtake agreements with qualified purchasers; delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals; political risks; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates; fluctuations in commodity prices; delays in the development of projects; capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry; and those risks set out in Zenyatta’s public documents filed on SEDAR. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. Although Zenyatta believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Zenyatta disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law. Opinions expressed by Zenyatta on Prof. Panesar’s research and may not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Toronto researchers.