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Total CarbideTotal CarbideT-C-Corner

Total Carbide Limited
H3, Westcott Venture Park, Aylesbury,
Buckinghamshire, HP18 0XB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1844 275171
Fax: +44 (0) 1844 342514
Email: info@totalcarbide.co.uk

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sprint signing

Will work with The Open University through the national SPRINT business support programme to complete testing of new material

Total Carbide, a hardmetal product manufacturer based in Buckinghamshire, has signed up to the national SPRINT business innovation support programme. SPRINT will provide Total Carbide with funded access to space-related expertise and facilities at The Open University. The project will enable Total Carbide to reduce the weight and increase the strength of its throat nozzles for rocket and space propulsion systems by replacing the tungsten-based alloy with a new material.

Total Carbide produces throat nozzles, a finely-tuned part of a propulsion system that provides the right amount of thrust to propel rockets and satellites. With SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) support, the company will work with StressMap, the materials characterisation and measurement services business unit of The Open University, to test and measure new materials, designed to reduce the weight of the throat nozzle component by improving the material properties.

Currently, throat nozzles are made from Tungsten Alloys, which provide sufficient heat resistance, wear resistance and strength. Tungsten is heavy and so Total Carbide is adding Hexotene, an innovative 2d material produced by Total Carbide’s parent company Versarien, into a heat resistant ceramic which will increase its strength and enable a more lightweight solution.

The £4.8 million SPRINT programme provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities to help businesses develop new commercial products for space and other key sectors.

SPRINT is supported by Research England and is being delivered by a consortium of five of the UK’s leading space universities, led by the University of Leicester and including the University of Edinburgh, The Open University, University of Southampton and University of Surrey.

Andreas Hohmann, Managing Director at Total Carbide said: “The new material will provide us with stronger and lighter throat nozzle products to take to markets such as aerospace and medical, so accurate and reliable testing and measurement will be key to the production process. We chose to work with The Open University through the funded SPRINT programme because of their residual stress expertise and the facilities available at the Materials Testing Laboratory, which can’t be matched cost-effectively by a commercial organisation.’

Jeferson Oliveira, PhD at StressMap and The Open University, added: “StressMap was founded as a business unit at The Open University in 2013 and through the university, we have access to state-of-the-art labs and facilities. We’re delighted that SPRINT has provided us with the opportunity to collaborate with Total Carbide on this important project to develop enhanced products for propulsion systems.”

For more information on the SPRINT programme, visit www.sprint.ac.uk.

About Total Carbide:

Total Carbide is the leading European manufacturer of sintered Tungsten Carbide wear parts. The company has developed superior, high quality, finished hardmetal products for a global customer base covering over 40 different industries and for a wide range of wear applications from all aspects of the oil and gas industry, through to measurement tools and cutting knives, to difficult complex applications requiring specialised corrosion resistant materials. In addition, it has the latest facilities to produce a wide variety of aerospace and defence related products.

Located at Westcott Space Cluster, the company is part of Versarien plc (AIM: VRS), based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and focused on bringing advanced materials to the market that are capable of having game-changing impact on a broad variety of industry sectors.


About Hexotene:

Hexotene is a few layer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanoplatelet powder with large lateral dimensions. Also known as "white graphene", hexagonal boron nitride has a layered structure similar to graphite. With high chemical purity and mono-layer particles confirmed, Hexotene is the latest addition to Versarien's high performance 2D material product range.


About StressMap:

StressMap is the measurement services business unit of The Open University. Backed by academic research excellence, it delivers innovation-driven stress/strain measurement services to clients worldwide. The group has a global reputation for the quality of its work, particularly in the field of residual stress measurement. StressMap is based at the OU, has access to state-of-the art facilities and the services it offers are aligned to the research focus of the Materials Engineering Group at the OU.


About The Open University:

The Open University is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than two million students worldwide. There are over 170,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

The Open University is enthusiastic about being involved in the SPRINT programme and to use decades of expertise in space research and state of the art facilities to help SMEs improve their products and services.

The Open University has had significant impact on space research with involvement in high profile programmes such as Cassini Huygens, JUICE, Stardust and Genesis. The Open University also has its own remote telescopes for Situational Awareness. Other space research areas include fluid-rock interactions, characterisation and optimisation of sensors for Space imaging and Microgravity.

The Open University’s engineering expertise also has an important part to play in the SPRINT programme, particularly in the areas of Diffusion Bonding, Engineering Design, Materials Characterisation and Stress Measurements.


For further media information, please contact:

Simon Gribbon (on behalf of SPRINT)
T: 07990 583371
E: simon@sandstarcomms.com