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Graphene Nanoplatelets: a future role in pipecoating?

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Pipelines constitute a major infrastructure investment frequently carrying materials which in the event of failure can cause significant loss to the owner and serious potential for environmental damage. To fulfil their role pipelines often run long distances either underwater or underground. This physical challenge is often further complicated by the crossing of international borders introducing complex codes and standards of management. Coatings are essential to the protection of pipelines from corrosion and subsequent failure but are themselves subject to degradation by severe abrasion, hydrothermal aging and chemical degradation. These coating systems are typically considered to be passive or active. Passive systems prevent corrosion by blocking key elements of water, oxygen and salts from reaching the pipe surface. Cathodic protection systems (CP) are reactive systems designed to protect pipelines in the event of failure.

Graphene was first produced and identified in 2004 by the group of Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselev at the University of Manchester, an event which was followed by the Nobel prize for Physics in 2010. One of the remarkable properties of graphene is its impermeability to gases. Graphene manufactured as a single monolayer is time consuming, expensive and difficult to scale. Graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) offer a cheap and scalable alternative for use in barrier systems. Much research has been carried out on the implementation and use of graphene in coatings including those for pipelines. Direct application of GNP into epoxy has been discussed by Battocchi et al (1) who observed that low level additions of GNP offered improved barrier properties and corrosion mitigation together with improved abrasion resistance. Budd et al(2) applied GNP in laminate structures for flexible risers demonstrating the potential barrier properties of graphene in aggressive conditions. Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) GNPs are manufactured using the company’s patented proprietary “bottom up” process, yielding high specification graphene materials. AGM produce a range of GNP dispersions capable of easy addition into coating systems and have undertaken significant development activity to demonstrate their use in coating systems enabling improved in barrier performance and corrosion resistance.

Corrosion Testing

Current organic coating systems designed for protective coatings applied in harsh environments, such as bridges, are typically comprised of a number of different coating layer, each providing a different set of properties. A basic system usually consists of three layers, which may include a zinc rich primer coat offering sacrificial protection, an intermediate coat and a final topcoat for environmental protection. Typical dry film thicknesses of these coats is around 50 to 150 µm for the primer and intermediate coat and 50 µm for the top coat. Recently it has been demonstrated that GNPs, both as prepared and chemically functionalised, when incorporated into an organic coating system or host matrix, provide via a highly tortuous path which acts to impede the movement of corrosive species towards the metal surface (Okafor et al[3) ) creating a passive corrosion protection mechanism. In support of this, previous work by Choi et al (4) has also shown that very small additions of GNPs decreased water vapour transmission rates indicating a barrier type property, while some authors Aneja et al(5) also report an electrochemical activity provided by graphene within coatings. The introduction of GNPsinto the intermediate coat has recently been demonstrated by AGM(6) to increase significantly the impedance of a protective coating system as measured by EIS when studied in conjunction with Neutral Salt Spray testing (ASTM B117). The intermediate epoxy was formulated as shown below in Table 1.

Three different GNP-containing variants of the control were prepared (D1-D3) using the same initial preparation route as for the epoxy prototype base, by substituting commercially available GNPcontaining dispersion additives (formulation component 10) for epoxy in the final step (formulation component 9). The GNP dispersion additives were effectively treated as masterbatches, and were added in varying amounts according to their graphene content and the final GNP content specified in the end coating (Table 1). The dispersion used in the preparation of D1 and D3 contained a reduced graphene oxide type GNPs (A-GNP10). The dispersions used in the preparation of D2 contained GNPs of a ‘crumpled sheet’ type morphology with a relatively low density and high surface area (A-GNP35). In addition, dispersion D3 based on A-GNP10 contained an active corrosion inhibitor.

Prior to coating application, all substrates were degreased using acetone. Each first coat was applied to grit blasted mild steel CR4 grade panels (Impress North East Ltd.), of dimensions 150 x 100 x 2mm, by means of a gravity fed conventional spray gun. The over coating interval was 3 hours with all panels permitted a final curing period of 7 days at 23°C (+/-2°C). Dry film thickness of the prepared coatings were in the range of 50-60 microns for single coat samples and 150-160 microns for multi coat samples. Full details of the coating systems prepared can be seen in Table 2. All substrates were backed and edged prior to testing.

The panels were placed in a Neutral Salt Spray corrosion chamber, running ISO 9227 for a period of up to 1440 hours. This test method consists of a continuous salt spray mist at a temperature of 35°C. Panels were assessed at 10 day (240 hour intervals) for signs of blistering, corrosion, and corrosion creep in accordance with ISO4628. These assessments were complimented with electrochemical measurements, carried out at the same intervals. All electrochemical measurements were recorded using a Gamry 1000E potentiostat in conjunction with a Gamry ECM8 multiplexer to permit the concurrent testing of up to 8 samples per run. Each individual channel was connected to a Gamry PCT1 paint test cell, specifically designed for the electrochemical testing of coated metal substrates.

Figure 1 shows the progression of impedance modulus for the three coat system samples, measured at 0.1 Hz, over the time period during which the samples were subjected to NSS conditions. Initial impedance values (recorded at t=0) range from the orders of 108 to 1010 Ω.cm2 . The control sample, consisting of a zinc rich primer coat, a layer of commercial equivalent epoxy and polyurethane topcoat, displays the lowest overall impedance values in addition to one of the higher rates of decrease of impedance from the t=0 point. When GNPs are introduced to the intermediate layer, the impedance modulus is increased suggesting that the inclusion of GNPs is acting to increase the barrier performance properties of the system as a whole. The incorporation of A-GNP35 into D2 gave a final system uplift of 5 orders of magnitude above the control. Throughout the testing the D2 formulation showed little change in impedance, compared to the other samples. The achievement of >109 Ohm.cm2 @ 0.1Hz over a period of 1440 hours in neutral salt spray outperformed existing technology in barrier performance equating to a C5 high rating for salt spray performance according to ISO12944-1.

The choice of coating system for pipelines is typically influenced by the geographical region and is often made between thick or thin film build. Critical requirements of coatings in either case are:

• Excellent adhesion

• Low permeability

• Resistance to cathodic disbondment

• High electrical resistance

Thin build coating systems are typically based on Fusion Bonded Epoxy (FBE) either single or double layer being the preferred approach in the North American market. Alternatives might also include high build epoxy or polyurethane. Typically such thin build systems utilise an active CP system to provide additional corrosion protection. Graphene modification as shown by Battochi(1) and by AGM(6) might easily be incorporated into such epoxy or polyurethane systems through the use of AGM’s dispersions. The known electrical conductivity of Graphene might give cause for concern if the incorporation changes the insulating characteristics of the film. The GNP modification demonstrated by AGM is however substantially below the percolation threshold required for conductivity and the net impact on epoxy conductivity is considered negligible (Figure 2).

Thick build coating systems used in other parts of the world are typically 3 layer polyolefin (3LPO and might be polyethylene or polypropylene). AGM has experience in master-batching Graphene into thermoplastics and as such there is no obstacle to the introduction of GNPs into of the main body of the coating. GNP might also be introduced into the adhesive copolymer layer applied to the FBE typically used as a base for the 3LPO coating system.

Tags:  Andre Geim  Applied Graphene Materials  Coatings  Graphene  hydrothermal  Konstantin Novoselev  Nanoplatelets  Pipelines  Pipes  University of Manchester 

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XG Sciences and Terrafilum Enter Joint Development Agreement to Produce Graphene Enhanced 3D Printing Filament

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, October 29, 2019
XG Sciences, Inc. a market leader in the design and manufacture of graphene nanoplatelets and advanced materials containing graphene nanoplatelets, and Terrafilum®, an eco-friendly, high quality filament producer for the 3D printing industry, today announced a joint venture agreement to develop, produce and market 3D printing filaments and coatings using graphene-based materials.
 
First isolated and characterized in 2004, graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms configured in an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice. Among many noted properties, monolayer graphene is harder than diamonds, lighter than steel but significantly stronger, and conducts electricity better than copper. Graphene nanoplatelets are particles consisting of multiple layers of graphene. 

Graphene nanoplatelets have unique capabilities for energy storage, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, barrier properties, lubricity and the ability to impart physical property improvements when incorporated into plastics, metals or other matrices.

Chris Jackson, President of Terrafilum, points out, “The full potential for 3D printing is starting to be unlocked. The addition of XG’s graphene formulations into our eco-friendly filaments will transform products allowing a greater variety of parts to be created at faster production rates using less energy.”

3D printing has been great for prototyping and limited run production parts, but companies have been challenged to move into high volume production due to material limitations such as direction specific structural weaknesses, a lack of conductivity, a sparse selection of ESD robust filaments, an overall lack of part performance and slow production times.
 
Graphene-enhanced filaments help solve product related problems, historically associated with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printing, by enhancing z-direction strength, providing more ESD robust parts and creating overall lighter parts in less time. 
 
“Marrying together well-established 3D printing technologies with our graphene-enhanced formulations makes the material difference in resolving the two most limiting factors in 3D printed parts, product strength and processing speeds,” said Dr. Leroy Magwood, Chief Technologist for XG Sciences.

Tags:  3D Printing  Chris Jackson  coatings  Graphene  Leroy Magwood  Terrafilum  XG Sciences 

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Nano-enhanced Boots Successfully Passed Safety Tests

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, October 14, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
First Graphene, in collaboration with Steel Blue, has successfully completed safety tests for graphene-enhanced boots which will be used in various industrial sectors. This is the first time that graphene has been used successfully in thermoplastic polyurethane masterbatch, which presents considerable benefits including improved wear and chemical resistance, enhanced heat transfer, and reduced permeability.

This is the first time that graphene has successfully been incorporated into a thermoplastic polyurethane masterbatch and offers considerable advantages, including even greater wear and chemical resistance, better thermal heat transfer and reduced permeability.

Steel Blue is a major global manufacturer of work boots, with a reputation for innovative design to improve comfort, durability and safety. The adoption of graphene to boost these features still further is a continuation of this philosophy, as Chief Executive Officer, Garry Johnson, explains, “Steel Blue is committed to developing innovative solutions for our customers. We’re excited by these recent developments with First Graphene and look forward to delivering these solutions to our market.”

The prototype boots have been manufactured using First Graphene’s PureGRAPH 10 graphene powder. Unlike competing formulations, this is available in high production volumes with non-aggregated, uniform sized graphene nanoplatelets; this ensures that it disperses evenly in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) masterbatches.

The prototype boots incorporate PureGRAPH-infused TPU soles and polyurethane foam innersoles and will now undergo extensive laboratory testing, followed by field trials. Craig McGuckin, Managing Director for First Graphene said, “The development work with Steel Blue provides yet another example of how we’re working with customers to commercialise the development of graphene, to transform the properties of materials used in many different applications, from elastomers and composites, to concrete and specialised industrial coatings.”

Tags:  coatings  composites  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Garry Johnson  Graphene  graphene enhanced polymer  Steel Blue 

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AGM at the Western Coatings Show 2019

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Applied Graphene Materials are exhibiting at Western Coatings Show in Las Vegas, on 20-23 October 2019.

At the show AGM will be promoting their Genable® range which delivers outstanding enhancements to anti-corrosion and barrier performance, while providing opportunities to further optimise other coating characteristics. AGM will soon be promoting a new addition to the Genable® range.

Andy Gent will be giving a presentation titled: Corrosion: Meeting Tomorrows Performance Needs with Graphene Nano-Platelets.

John Willhite and Adrian Potts will also be at stand 332 to answer any questions you may have. You can contact them on +44 (0)1642 438214, or, by e-mail at info@appliedgraphenematerials.com.

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Andy Gent  Applied Graphene Materials  coatings  Graphene  John Willhite 

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AGM advances applications for water based anti-corrosion coatings

Posted By Graphene Council, The 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, The 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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Applied Graphene Materials secures patent approval

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, May 30, 2019
Updated: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Applied Graphene Materials announced that the Company has received patent approval for its unique manufacturing process in the tenth out of eleven territorial applications made in 2019. 

AGM’s strategy is to ensure it has patent coverage in all of the major international territories in order to protect its technology.

This latest patent approval is in a strategically important territory for the Group and follows receipt of approval from the USA patent office in 2018.

As the Company deepens its dispersion expertise to enable the effective transfer of graphene’s unique combination of properties into customer materials, AGM continues to file patent applications for its proprietary manufacturing and dispersion processes, and products as appropriate, with a particular focus on graphene dispersions for paints and coatings.

Adrian Potts, Chief Executive Officer of Applied Graphene Materials, said:
“Our aim is to become a leading supplier of graphene globally. Receiving patent approval in another strategically important territory for AGM is an important development, as we continue to secure our competitive position in international markets where we see significant long-term commercial opportunity.”

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  coatings  Graphene  Paint 

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Gratomic Launches its first production of graphene from Gratomic Graphite Derived Product

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, May 30, 2019
Updated: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Gratomic Inc. has announced its first graphene from Gratomic Graphite derived product. Gratomic graphenes derived from Gratomic graphite mined from its Aukum Mine located in Namibia are being used to manufacture Graphene enabled conductive inks and pastes. The inks and pastes (to the best of the Company's knowledge) are amongst the most conductive carbon inks and pastes currently available within the global market place.

The Gratink product is formulated specifically to meet the needs of the printed flexible electronics and EMI shielding markets. Electromagnetic interference (EMI), sometimes referred to as radio-frequency interference (RFI) is a disturbance generated by an external source that affects an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction.

The Gratink and paste applications based on surface modified nano graphene "enablers" offer a product for market penetration into the information technology sector that is now an important aspect of our everyday life.  

The Gratomic Gratink product delivers a functional print and coat component solution.

Due to a multiple range of potential applications including antennas, RFID tags, transistors, sensors, and wearable electronics, the development of printed conductive inks and coatings for electronic applications is growing rapidly. Currently available conductive inks exploit metal nanoparticles to realize electrical conductivity.

Traditionally, metallic nanoparticles are normally derived from silver, copper and platinum based enablers which can be expensive and easily oxidized.

The Gratink product is designed to fill a gap in both the flexible printed electronics and EMI market space where metallic nanoparticle solutions are unnecessary.

Gratink is initially available to meet customer printing and coating preference specifications for R&D purposes with orders available in one-kilo packages.

Following satisfactory customer preproduction qualification, the products can then be varied so they are suitable for printing and coating in bulk quantities formulated to specification and made available as required in 10's to 100's of kilos or tonnes.

Please note - Inks and pastes are prepared for all currently available methods of printing and coating with the exception of ink jet printing.

Sheldon Inwentash Co-CEO of Gratomic commented. "Gratomic is delighted to offer their first product of a planned product range based on the Company's graphene derived from graphite mined from its Aukum Mine."

Gratink is a collaborative development product formulated in tandem with Perpetuus Carbon Technology Wales UK and Gratomic Inc.

***

Are you interested in developing graphene enhanced products or applications?

Find a suitable application partner / supplier through The Graphene Council 

Tags:  coatings  Graphene  Graphite  Gratomic  nanoparticles  Perpetuus Carbon Technologies  Sensors  Sheldon Inwentash 

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Graphene@Manchester at The University of Manchester

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, March 25, 2019
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2019

Graphene@Manchester at The University of Manchester is an on-going programme of activity to ensure that Manchester and the UK play a leading international role in developing the revolutionary potential of graphene.

Graphene@Manchester is creating a critical mass of graphene and 2D materials expertise made up of scientists, manufacturers, engineers, innovators, investors and industrialists to build a thriving knowledge-based economy.   

At the heart the vision is the National Graphene Institute and the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), multi-million pound facilities with a commitment fostering strong industry-academic collaborations.   

The Graphene Council is a proud founding Affiliate Member of the GEIC, providing access to a word class facility and the graphene experts at the University of Manchester. 

Graphene@Manchester is home to an unrivalled breadth of expertise across 30 academic groups. This expertise gives us the ability to take graphene applications from basic research to finished product.   

Graphene is a disruptive technology; one that could open up new markets and even replace existing technologies or materials. From transport, medicine, electronics, energy, and water filtration, the range of industries where graphene research is making an impact is substantial.   

Graphene has the potential to create the next-generation of electronics currently limited to science fiction. Our facilities provide dedicated equipment to develop and produce inks and formulations for printed and flexible electronics, wearables and coatings.

Tags:  2D materials  coatings  Graphene  University of Manchester 

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Micro and nano materials, including clothing for Olympic athletes

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, March 25, 2019
Updated: Monday, March 25, 2019
A research team of materials engineers and performance scientists at Swansea University has been awarded £1.8 million to develop new products - in areas from the motor industry to packaging and sport - that make use of micro and nano materials based on specialist inks.

One application already being developed is specialist clothing that will be worn by elite British athletes in training and at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The researchers will be incorporating advanced materials such as graphene into flexible coatings which will be printed and embedded into bespoke garments to enhance the performance of elite athletes.

The purpose of the project is to serve as a pipeline for new ideas, testing to see which of them can work in practice and on a large scale, and then turning them into actual products.

The gap between initial concept and final product is known in manufacturing as the "valley of death" as so many good ideas simply fail to make it. The pipeline will help ensure more of them make it across the valley: off the drawing board and into production.

This project is unique in that it is driven by market requirements. As well as the wearable technology, identified by the English Institute of Sport (EIS), two other areas will be amongst the first to use the pipeline: SMART packaging, with the company Tectonic, and the car industry, with GTS Flexible Materials

The project is a collaboration between two teams in Swansea University's College of Engineering: the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) led by Professor Tim Claypole and Professor David Gethin, and the Elite and Professional Sport (EPS) research group, namely Dr Neil Bezodis, Professor Liam Kilduff and Dr Camilla Knight.

The WCPC is pioneering ways of using printing with specialist inks as an advanced manufacturing process. Their expertise will be central to the project.

Professor Tim Claypole, Director of the Wales Centre for Printing and Coating, said:

"The WCPC expertise in ink formulation and printing is enabling the creation of a range of advanced products for a wide range of applications that utilise innovative materials".

Sport, which is one of the areas the project covers, has been a test bed for technology before. For example, heart rate monitors and exercise bikes have now become mainstream.

EPS project lead Dr Neil Bezodis underlined the importance of links with partners within the overall project:

"Collaborations between industrial partners which are driven by end users in elite sport are key to ensuring our research has a real impact".

Tags:  Camilla Knight  coatings  David Gethin  Graphene  Liam Kilduff  nanomaterials  Neil Bezodis  sporting goods  Swansea University  Tim Claypole  Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating 

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