A REDCAR Graphene materials business today celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

It has been ten years since Applied Graphene Materials (AGM), was founded as a spin-off from Durham University, AGM is now a world leader in the development and application of graphene dispersions for customers in the coatings, composites and functional materials sectors.

AGM was founded by award-winning Professor Karl Coleman, who had developed a bottom-up production process for the manufacture of graphene materials.

Since those early days, AGM has made major technology advances in the application of this new class of materials – not least in adding performance-enhancing characteristics to a range of product categories.

Today, AGM’s graphene is incorporated into a number of consumer products sold by major retailers and the company’s own range of graphene dispersions is being offered to end users worldwide via a growing distribution network.

To date, AGM has announced consumer product launches through its customers, including: Alltimes Coatings Ltd, which launched its Advantage Graphene liquid coating roofing system - significantly enhanced anti-corrosion performance delivered by incorporating AGM’s graphene, and includes an unparalleled 30 year warranty.

Halfords launched in store and online sales of a Graphene primer – the aerosol primer produces exceptional corrosion protection, due to AGM’s graphene dispersion.

James Briggs Ltd launched its Hycote graphene anti-corrosion primer – the product is on sale in the mainstream market on Amazon and Tetrosyl Express and Graphene enhanced Top Coat MT product for harsh environment industrial coatings applications demanding outstanding anti-corrosion protection for end-customers such as Avanti.

Headquartered in Redcar, AGM’s geographical footprint has expanded substantially over recent years.

This week, AGM announced the signing of its latest distribution partner, Will & Co, which will extend the Company’s sales reach into the Benelux region.

In addition to its own commercial hubs in the UK and the United States, AGM now has distribution agreements with local expert chemicals and coatings distributors in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Italy, South Africa and Japan.

AGM is a modern success story of the North East’s industrial heartland.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen visited AGM in March to learn about the company’s role in advancing the global development of ‘wonder material’ graphene, which ultimately has the potential to have a transformative impact on a range of industries, from advanced composites materials to aerospace, automotive and construction.

Mayor Houchen said: “There is some truly amazing ground-breaking work going on right here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that is attracting attention right across the world, and Applied Graphene Materials is a great example of that. I have visited this fantastic local business to learn all about their work and the opportunities they are creating in the region. They are an example of a firm creating the products of the future in sectors we need to support, and we as a region are leading the way. Congratulations to Applied Graphene Materials on a brilliant 10 years and I’m sure they will continue to be a world-leading firm in the years to come.”

Adrian Potts, CEO of AGM, said: “Over 10 years AGM has grown from being the owner of a ground-breaking new manufacturing technology comprising our unique graphene production process, to a commercial, AIM-listed, business and expert in the delivery of graphene to the high-performance materials sectors.

"With time, we have scaled production and refined our process along the way. The primary area of focus has been the continued honing and deepening of our dispersion and application expertise.

"We see this as critical to enabling the positive impact that graphene can make on a range of materials technologies to enable higher performance using a graphene addition.

"We continue to develop strong commercial partnerships in our target sectors, with graphene enhanced products already launched and stocked by leading retail stores, and our commercial momentum continuing to build.

“AGM is proud to be a UK leader at the forefront of graphene application technology globally. With our heritage firmly in the North East of England we are steadily increasing our footprint to support our ambition of being a leader in the global graphene application community.

"I would like to thank our extraordinarily talented workforce for their commitment over the years. The North East is a remarkable area of the UK skills base, and I am proud of my colleagues who continue to contribute to the exciting opportunities in front of us.

"In the current challenges with coronavirus, I would especially like to thank our team for being prepared to work flexibly towards our goal of maintaining momentum on our long-range projects. This is not an easy time for anyone, and I’m pleased with the professional and safe manner in which we continue to operate

“We look forward to many more decades of progress as we continue to exploit graphene’s outstanding potential.”