Gerdau Graphene Unveils World's First Graphene-Enhanced Polyethylene Films for Commercial Use; Japanese Conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation to Distribute in Japan

Gerdau Graphene's New Poly-G E-07GM Polyethylene Masterbatch Delivers Unparalleled Durability And Cost-Savings For Plastic Packaging Films And Other Uses; New Plastic Films Are 25% Thinner And Reduce Plastic Waste By As Much As 40%

Gerdau Graphene Poly-G PE-07GM

Gerdau Graphene, the nanotechnology company pioneering advanced graphene-enhanced materials for industrial applications, announced that it has landed the first sales of its graphene-enhanced Poly-G PE-07GM polyethylene masterbatch. The additive is suitable for the production of films, profiles, and sheets formed through the extrusion processes. The new thermoplastic products created using Poly-G PE-07GM are proven to be stronger and offer greater overall performance while costing less to manufacture and producing significantly less waste across the value chain.

Poly-G PE-07GM was piloted in a series of industrial applications within Gerdau's factories before commercialization, including as a film for construction nail packaging. Gerdau found that by using the new, 25% thinner graphene-enhanced plastic film, far fewer nails perforated the packaging. As a result, Gerdau reported a 39% reduction in the volume of discarded damaged packaging and a 7% increase in film productivity.

The application of Poly-G PE-07GM increases the mechanical and thermal properties of polyethylene in addition to enhancing its processability and allowing the development of thinner final products. Benefits that can be achieved with the addition of graphene to polyethylene include:

  • Improved gas barrier properties
  • Higher UV resistance
  • Higher stiffness and tensile strength
  • Reduction in the coefficient of friction (COF)
  • Higher thermal stability
  • Higher thermal and electric conductivity
  • Better processability                

"Thermoplastics such as polyethylene are critical to most commercial business operations around the world, particularly in retail, logistics, and industrial environments. Improving the material qualities of polyethylene has a meaningful impact on its sustainability in addition to cutting down on costs," said Alexandre Corrêa, CEO of Gerdau Graphene. "By adding specialized graphene additives to thermoplastic recipes, plastic producers can create stronger, more durable plastic products at lower cost and with far less virgin resin needed. Lower consumption of virgin resin means that less plastic becomes post-consumer waste, improving the overall sustainability of the final product developed. There are also downstream effects, including reductions in manufacturing waste, energy consumption, transportation, and more. And, circularly, we believe that soon plastics may be recycled into graphene and then reused."

Gerdau Graphene Enters the Japanese Market

Gerdau Graphene also announced today that it has formed a partnership with Sumitomo Corporation (hereinafter "SC"), a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company with more than 70,000 group employees and a market cap about $22 billion, to import and distribute Poly-G PE-07GM masterbatches within the Japanese market.

"We are thrilled to announce our recent partnership with SC, a renowned trading house in Japan and partner to Gerdau in business ventures in Brazil, to export our masterbatches to the Japanese market. This collaboration represents a significant milestone for our company, as SC's history and reputation speak to the quality and value of our products," said Corrêa. "Opening the Japanese market is a strategic move for us, as it is known for its attention to high-quality materials and is a mature market in terms of industry expertise. We are confident that our masterbatches will be well-received by the Japanese market and we look forward to building a long-lasting relationship with SC and brand owners and convertors in Japan."

"We are excited to partner with Gerdau Graphene to bring their high-quality graphene enhanced masterbatches to the Japanese market. We have been studying the graphene market for several years and are impressed with the R&D developments and speed to market executed by Gerdau Graphene so far. In the past years there has been a strong drive for sustainability in Japan, and we believe graphene additives will be a key material to support our local customers in bringing better products to the local market," said Naoyuki Tokunaga, GM of the Carbon Department at SC.

Gerdau Graphene is currently developing graphene additives for virgin resins as well as post-industrial and post-consumer recycled plastics and polymers, including PP, PE, polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), PVC, and more. Every year, the United States produces about 8 million tons of PP and 23 million tons of PE. Reducing the amount of raw PP and PE needed to create final plastic products by 30% could save as much as 9.3 million tons of PP and PE plastic from being consumed and ultimately discarded.

Graphene, considered to be the strongest material on Earth, is a one to ten atom-thick sheet of densely compacted carbon that can be modified for various uses and added to industrial materials. Since its discovery in 2004, Graphene's extraordinary chemical, physical, electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties have captivated the world and led to its inventors winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Graphene can be mixed with plastics, lending its incredible strength to the plastic matrix, and making the combined plastic material much stronger. In addition to improving physical and mechanical properties, graphene also increases barrier properties against liquids and gasses; protection from weathering, oxidation, and UV light; and an increase in electrical and thermal conductivity.

About Gerdau Graphene 

Gerdau Graphene is a nanotech company focused on the production, development, and commercialization of graphene-enhanced products including polymers, paints and coatings, rubber, and more. Launched in 2021 by Gerdau, the largest producer of long steel in the Americas, through its Gerdau Next program, Gerdau Graphene enables businesses to harness the revolutionary properties of graphene to deliver industry-leading products. Gerdau Graphene is a Corporate Member of The Graphene Council. To learn more, please visit

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About SC 

Sumitomo Corporation is a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company with 111 locations in overseas countries/regions and 20 locations in Japan. It conducts commodity transactions in all industries utilizing worldwide networks, provides related customers with various financing, serves as an organizer and a coordinator for various projects, and invests in companies to promote greater growth potential.

Source: Gerdau Graphene