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Does graphene cause or prevent the corrosion of copper? New study finally settles the debate

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, February 22, 2020
Copper has been essential to human technology since its early days--it was even used to make tools and weapons in ancient times. It is widely used even today, especially in electronic devices that require wiring. But, a challenge with using copper is that its surface oxidizes over time, even under ambient conditions, ultimately leading to its corrosion. And thus, finding a long-term method to protect the exposed surfaces of copper is a valuable goal. One common way of protecting metal surfaces is by coating them with anti-corrosive substances. Graphene is studied extensively as a candidate for anti-corrosive coating, as it serves as a barrier to gas molecules. But, despite these properties, graphene sheets are seen to protect copper from corrosion only over short periods (less than 24 hours). In fact, surprisingly, after this initial period, graphene appears to increase the rate of copper corrosion, which is completely in contrast to its anti-corrosive nature.

To shed light on the peculiar nature of graphene seen in copper, a research team from Chung-Ang University, Korea, led by Prof Hyungbin Son, studied graphene islands on a copper substrate to analyze the patterns of its corrosion. Prof Son explains, "Graphene is known to be mechanically very strong and impermeable to all gases, including hydrogen. Following studies claiming that the corrosion of copper substrates was accelerated under graphene through various defects, these properties have attracted great attention as an oxidation barrier for metals and have been controversial for over a decade. However, they have not been qualitatively investigated over longer time scales. Thus, we were motivated to study the role of graphene as a corrosion-resistant film at the graphene-copper interface." Prof Son and his team used Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and white light interferometry to observe the trends in copper corrosion for 30 days.

At first, the team detected corrosion developing at the edges, spreading the oxidized form of copper, copper oxide (Cu2O), at various defects such as edges, grain boundaries, and missing atoms. This resulted in the splitting of water vapor, supplying oxygen for the oxidation process, until the entire barrier seemed to be rendered useless and copper was fully corroded underneath. Owing to graphene's effect on ambient water vapor, the protected portion of the copper substrate was more corroded than the unprotected portion. Over time, the formation of Cu2O underneath the graphene sheet dispersed the strain and caused p-doping in graphene--creating a hybrid-like structure. But, after 13 days of exposure to ambient conditions, the team discovered something new. They observed that that the corrosion had significantly slowed down where a new hybrid of graphene and Cu2O layer had formed. Meanwhile, the unprotected copper continued to corrode at a consistent rate, until it had penetrated far deeper than the corrosion under the graphene shield.

These findings show that graphene, in fact, protects copper from deep, penetrating oxidation, unlike what previous studies had concluded. Prof Son explained, "We observed that over a longer time scale (more than 1 year), the graphene-Cu2O hybrid structure became a protective layer against oxidation. The area beyond the graphene was heavily oxidized with CuO, with a depth of ?270 nm."

This study has finally managed to settle the debate on whether graphene can be used to protect copper against oxidation. Prof Son concludes, "For nearly a decade, graphene's anti-corrosive properties have been controversial, with many studies suggesting that graphene accelerates the oxidation of copper (resulting in its corrosion). We have shown for the first time that the graphene-Cu2O hybrid structure, which forms over a long period, significantly slows down the oxidation of copper in the long term, as compared to bare copper."

Only time will reveal more about further applications of graphene as an anti-corrosive material. But one thing is certain--this research has potentially taken down several barriers in using graphene to extend the life of copper.

Tags:  Chung-Ang University  coatings  Corrosion  Graphene  graphene oxide  Hyungbin Son 

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AGM to present at international coatings conferences

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, February 8, 2020

Applied Graphene Materials, the specialty producer of graphene materials, announces that the Company will present to the global paints and coatings industry at five international conferences this spring.

Over the last 12 months, the Company has seen several customer coatings containing AGM’s graphene dispersion technology reach the consumer market, including Halfords’ graphene-enhanced primer and James Briggs’ Hycote graphene anti-corrosion primer. The Company continues in its commitment to developing customer engagement in the coatings sector by presenting the performance data supporting the application of its proprietary market-leading graphene enhanced coatings technology.

AGM has developed a robust high-volume synthesis production technology for graphene nanoplatelets (A-GNPs). A-GNPs possess unique characteristics that are then tailored into a range of commercial production ready dispersions (Genable® range), which deliver outstanding enhancements to anti-corrosion and general barrier performance, while providing opportunities to further optimise other coating characteristics.

AGM will take part in five leading international industry events, presenting selected
technology papers at the following:

  • Corrosion 2020, based in Houston, Texas (15-19 March 2020)
  • The American Coatings Show, based in Indianapolis (30 March – 02 April 2020)
  • Eurocoat, based in Paris (31 March – 02 April 2020)
  • Paint Expo, based in Karlsruhe, Germany (21-24 April 2020)
  • Surfex, based in Coventry (02-03 June 2020)

Tags:  Applied Graphene Materials  Coatings  Corrosion  Graphene  Halfords  James Briggs  Paint 

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AGM advances applications for water based anti-corrosion coatings

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, July 18, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 15, 2019

Applied Graphene Materials, the producer of specialty graphene materials, has announced it has achieved significant technological progress (patent pending) on the deployment of graphene into water-based coatings to enhance their barrier properties.

Water-based coating development remains a focus for industry formulators.

This push is driven by the continuing tightening of regulations brought in to lessen the detrimental impact that solvent- based coatings have on both worker health and the environment. As the technology for water-based coatings continues to evolve, one of the key challenges that remains is to significantly improve their anti-corrosion performance. In doing so, this will fully extend their use away from decorative applications into broader industrial protective coatings.

Over recent years AGM has proven the outstanding barrier and anti-corrosion performance gains possible by incorporating graphene into solvent-based coating systems using its Genable® dispersion technology. This has been demonstrated with several commercial products reaching industrial end-user markets. However, effective incorporation of graphene into water-based systems has previously proven more problematic due to interrelated issues around materials compatibility and film formation.

This water-based breakthrough is again based on AGM's platform Genable® technology, a range of master dispersions that are designed to facilitate the easy incorporation of graphene into coating formulations and existing processes. Genable® dispersions are fully scalable industrial products and, based on initial findings, the addition levels required to significantly enhance anti-corrosion performance in water-based systems are low enough to ensure commercial viability, even in light industrial applications.

Adrian Potts, CEO of Applied Graphene Materials, said:
"A key driver for coatings developers to upgrade their product formulations is increasing regulatory pressure to improve the environmental impact and safety of their products. This is why AGM is working to replicate the success we have already achieved with the incorporation of our Genable® products into solvent-based products with its incorporation into water-based products. We are delighted to be able to present significant technological progress to our customers, reaffirming AGM as the leader in the development of cutting-edge graphene applications tailored to add significant value for paints and coatings manufacturers."

While the findings being shared publicly are in a commercial acrylic DTM (Direct-to-Metal) coating, AGM believes that water-based Genable® technology could, with considered formulating, equally well be adopted into epoxy chemistries and likewise into more complex formulated primer systems.



AGM remains the industry leader for graphene exploitation into the global paints and coatings industry, boasting a highly experienced formulations and applications team, supported by a well-equipped product development and characterisation laboratory and production capability for consistent manufacturing.

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  Coatings  Corrosion  Graphene 

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AGM signs distribution agreement with CAME srl

Posted By Graphene Council, Friday, May 31, 2019

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) announced it has signed a distribution agreement with CAME Srl, Italy, a leading international chemical distribution business. The agreement extends AGM's commercial reach directly into the Italian coatings and chemicals sectors. CAME, based in Milan, also represents a wide range of international supply partners throughout Europe and the Middle East. Its customer base includes many organisations in the coatings, adhesives and lubricants markets, making it an ideal distribution partner for AGM in the Italian market within its key target sectors.

AGM and CAME have been engaged in early market development over the last 18 months and the agreement represents a major commitment from both companies to exploit AGM's exciting graphene technology.

Adrian Potts, AGM CEO commented:

"It is an absolute priority for AGM to maximise its global exploitation plans. We are pleased with growing industry recognition of the benefits of our Genable® graphene dispersion technologies. These are proving to be ideally suited to anti-corrosion and barrier performance in coatings and are generating increasing commercial traction in the sector. We are gaining significant momentum in Italy with a growing number of target accounts. Complementary to this is our strategy of establishing a highly credible and technically reactive distribution network to effectively broaden our sales footprint. CAME are ideal partners for AGM and having worked with them over recent months, we are confident they will provide an excellent route to market for AGM products."

Verena Cepparulo, CAME Managing Director:

"We have followed the development of AGM's Genable® dispersion technology and see its great potential, particularly in the area of anti-corrosion performance. AGM has demonstrated they now have a strong product base, supported by a highly experienced and skilled technical support team, and we are very excited by the opportunity to be part of their ambitious growth plans. We have already undertaken our own market research and see significant potential within the Italian market".

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  CAME srl  coatings  Corrosion  Graphene  Verena Cepparulo 

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Genable® anti-corrosion technology gains further recognition

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Applied Graphene Materials, the producer of specialty graphene materials today announces that its breakthrough graphene technology Genable® 3000 has delivered outstanding anti-corrosion performance enhancement results that has led the business to be nominated for a key industry award.

Genable® is a unique metal-free additive that transforms coatings and paints enabling them to uniquely withstand aggressive corrosion in automotive, heavy industry and harsh marine environments. The results from over 3,000 hours of typical vigorous environment testing demonstrate the long-term structural resilience that AGM’s products provide against corrosion, establishing a new market standard.

The development re-affirms the Company’s compelling position and potential within the £8.1bn global coating markets and follows its recent announcement that James Briggs Limited, Europe’s largest consumer chemicals businesses, intends to bring a new range of aerosol automotive paint primers containing AGM graphene to market , setting new levels of corrosion protection in the aerosol automotive paint market.

Jim Miller, JBL’s Commercial Director commented:
"The 2 year development collaboration between JBL and AGM has resulted in our first products coming to fruition for the automotive market. Initial feedback from the market is very positive, with customers keen to see innovative products with genuine substantive performance improvements, which these products deliver through utilisation of AGM’s graphene dispersion technology.”

The momentum that AGM’s proprietary Genable® 3000 graphene technology has achieved has helped drive industry wide recognition of AGM’s expertise as an innovation leader in the coatings industry. Reflecting this, the Company has secured a nomination as a finalist in the Materials Performance Corrosion Innovation Awards 2019. The MP Corrosion Innovation Awards program acknowledges the leaders advancing understanding and development of global corrosion technology.  It is run in parallel with NACE International. Winners will be announced at the CORROSION conference 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Adrian Potts, CEO of Applied Graphene Materials commented:
“AGM’s technology is an exciting and first of its kind development for the global coatings industry. It will significantly increase the lifespan of metals in harsh environments, ensuring very attractive cost advantages for customers.  As we create new standards across the market, we are delighted to have been nominated as a Finalist for the 2019 Corrosion Industry Innovation Award, recognising our ground-breaking Genable® 3000 technology.  Our recent success with UK paint producer James Briggs and 3,000-hour trials are hugely positive and highlight our potential to bring innovation to many different industries and markets.”

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  Corrosion  Graphene  James Briggs  Jim Miller 

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Applied Graphene Materials creates graphene-enhanced anti-corrosion paint primer.

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Thursday, December 27, 2018

Applied Graphene Materials, originally spun out of Durham University and now based in Redcar, is creating a new range of graphene-enhanced anti-corrosion aerosols for James Briggs.

AGM say the completion of its first production batch is a "significant milestone" and they now plan to work towards a full product launch.

Based at the Wilton Centre, near Redcar, AGM makes powdered graphene, with the substance hailed by some experts as being capable of conducting electricity a million times better than copper, despite being as thin as human hair.

The business has developed a form of graphene it says can deliver a six-fold improvement in barrier and anti-corrosion properties, with James Briggs expected to use the product in primers to offer greater protection from weathering.

Bosses claim testing had demonstrated "repeated improvements in anti-corrosion performance".

Bryan Dobson, chairman of Applied Graphene Materials, said: "The Board continues to focus on the commercialisation of its products and proprietary technologies via its numerous active engagements and has made good progress in recent months.

"I am pleased to report that we have recently achieved a key milestone, having fulfilled the scale-up production purchase order from James Briggs Ltd in preparation for full product launch.

"JBL has successfully completed its first production batch which is a significant milestone for commercial realisation. Extensive testing has demonstrated repeated and outstanding improvements in anti-corrosion performance for JBL’s automotive aerosol primer. JBL plans to launch their new range of graphene enhanced anti-corrosion aerosols under their Hycote brand."

Mr Dobson als said the firm was pleased to participate in the opening of the UK’s Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC) in Manchester last week.

"Meeting with multiple participants, the opportunities for graphene technology remain buoyant," he said.

"Finding practical application solutions for the challenges surrounding the exploitation of graphene nanoplatelet technology is the key focus of AGM’s strategy for commercial progress.

"We look forward to working closely with GEIC in the months ahead in the further development of world-class application solutions."

James Briggs was founded almost two centuries ago and they have the capacity to distribute up to 150 million aerosols. 

Tags:  Applied Graphene Materials  coatings  Corrosion  graphene  Hycote  James Briggs  Paint 

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