Recent testwork by Sparc Technologies (ASX: SPN) has demonstrated the company’s proprietary graphene-based additives can substantially improve the corrosion performance of commercially-available coatings.
The recently-completed tests confirmed that enhancement of the coatings with graphene additive technology could deliver a 62% improvement in anti-corrosion performance.
The results also prove the additive’s commercial suitability for industrial applications, and marine and global shipping environments.
Cold-rolled steel tests
Sparc’s test program utilised smooth cold-rolled steel panels with 150 microns of epoxy coating, which were subjected to 1,344 hours of salt spray.
It was conducted under controlled conditions and to strict international quality standards.
The control panels had no graphene added to the paint, while the panels with graphene added showed a 62% improvement in scribe creep, which is the measure of corrosion resistance.
Using non-standard substrate approximates the requirements of ISO12944-6 for the long-term corrosion protection of steel structures in aggressive C5-rated corrosivity environments.
Testing intended to amplify noticeable differences in corrosion performance between the various samples evaluated.
More challenging environment
The results have been considered significant as the substrate was smooth cold-rolled steel (compared to previous tests on abrasive blast-cleaned steel) and represents a more challenging environment for the coating system.
Sparc chief executive officer Mike Bartels said the graphene coatings technology continues to demonstrate a “superior ability” to improve corrosion performance on a multitude of materials.
“These results will provide an enormous benefit to our continued discussions with global coatings companies looking to commercialise our technology,” he said.
“We are doing graphene tests on 12 different coatings projects [which] will also benefit our optimisation work in other areas such as anti-fouling, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and drag resistance.”
Extracted from the graphite mineral, graphene is a two-dimensional nano material made of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern, giving it powerful properties which – with the right technology – can be imparted on products to improve performance.
Sparc’s mission is to pioneer new graphene technologies to disrupt and transform industry and science for a “cleaner, greener and healthier world”.
The company’s addressable coatings market worldwide is estimated to be $56.9 billion by 2025.