Sparc Technologies unveils ‘outstanding’ anti-microbial results using graphene additives in coatings

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By Lorna Nicholas - 
Sparc Technologies ASX SPN graphene coatings antibacterial antimicrobial Flinders University Adelaide

One of Sparc’s graphene additives analysed was found to have “complete destruction of E-Coli bacteria” when incorporated in an epoxy coating.


Sparc Technologies (ASX: SPN) has unveiled what it describes as “outstanding results” from test work, which found its graphene-based additives had anti-microbial properties when included in coatings.

Researchers from Adelaide’s Flinders University undertook the test work which evaluated the antibacterial properties of Sparc’s graphene-based additives in an epoxy coating system.

The results showed bacterial activity, specifically in relation to Escherichia Coli (E-Coli), was hampered when a range of graphene additivities were included in an epoxy coating.

“In the case of one of the graphene additives evaluated, complete destruction of E-Coli bacteria was observed when compared to the same coating type containing no graphene,” Sparc explained.

Sparc is now planning to carry out further work to confirm and optimise the results.

If successful, graphene enhanced coatings could be used in areas where control of bacteria growth on surfaces is important including hospitals, public areas, food preparation facilities, drinking water systems, antifouling for shipping and coatings for wastewater systems.

Sparc managing director and chief executive officer Mike Bartels said the anti-microbial results were “outstanding”.

He added the results encouraged the company to develop a product for a “multitude of anti-microbial coatings applications” in multi-billion-dollar markets.

Anti-corrosive properties

Mr Bartels noted today’s anti-microbial results follow on from previous test work that demonstrated the company’s graphene-based additives also prevented corrosion when included in coatings.

Earlier this year, the company revealed test work showed Sparc’s graphene additives “significantly” improved anti-corrosive performance when included in coatings.

Compared to a control coating, Sparc’s graphene-additives improved corrosion performance up to 73%, and boosted adhesion by 19%.

With these properties, Sparc is targeting large industrial markets including marine and protective coatings, environmental remediation and biomedical applications.

What is graphene?

Graphene is derived from graphite and is a 2D nano-material made up of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern.

It is believed graphene is the strongest material discovered to-date and possesses 40-times the strength of a diamond which is the second strongest known material.

Evaluation of graphene in a multitude of end-uses is currently under investigation.