Composites & coatings
The impact of graphene-based composites is set to reverberate throughout countless industries, enhance performance and increase application possibilities.
By combining graphene with paint, a unique graphene coating is formed which could signal the end of the deterioration of ships and cars through rust.
Graphene for sport
Sporting goods are often the first to take up on new materials development which has already been the case with the successful graphene-enhanced tennis. Graphene-based composites and coatings could be further involved in enhancing sports equipment in skiing, cycling, and even Formula 1 in the near future.
The next step is into smart composites.
“We can integrate sensors into smart materials so that we can learn about their performance, durability, structure and whether they are experiencing stress or damage. Smart materials are living materials.”
Graphene is the component that makes composite materials smart. A highly conductive nanomaterial, when graphene is embedded in steel, concrete or fabric – it can conduct electric signals, allowing it to act as a sensor.
Population growth and rapid urbanisation continue to boost the growth of concrete products but the industry faces major challenges notably the pressure to reduce the carbon footprint (CO2 contribution) of cement-based products.
The use of graphene admixtures can increase strength, reduce materials usage (reducing carbon footprint) and potentially increase longevity of products.
The technology has the potential to deliver stronger, lighter concrete structures enabling a new generation of concrete designs.
Graphene with average lateral size 50 - 90μm supplied by Graphenel JSC., was incorporated into cement mixtures by dispersion in plasticiser solution prior to incorporation in the cement give stronger, lighter concrete structures enabling novel and potentially greener approaches in building and infrastructure project design.
External testing show a 40% increase in the compressive strength and a 30% increase in the tensile strength of concrete.
The use of epoxy (EP) coatings for the protection of steel infrastructure from corrosion is a dominant technology in modern industrial settings. Improvement of this technology by compounding with graphene materials is explored. Composite coatings are produced on steel substrates using graphene oxide (GO). The anti-corrosion (AC) performance of the coatings is evaluated by salt-fog corrosion (SFC) testing and electrochemical (EC) methods. GO is found to be an excellent candidate as an AC barrier filler in EP coatings by both SFC and EC testing, clearly outperforming the neat EP.
Graphene Oxide with EP bonding functional groups provided by Graphenel JSC., Increases salt resistance by 30% and reduces 2/3 product finishing time.