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What Is Graphene and How Can It Protect Metal Roofs?

14 July 2020

Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure and has an unsurpassed combination of unique properties and benefits, especially for protecting against corrosion.

Scientists have been trying to study it since 1859 however it was only successfully isolated, and its incredible properties verified, in 2004. So now it has only recently been integrated into products that are coming to market such as tennis rackets, bike frames, and trainers.

Graphene is a form of carbon and has a unique two-dimensional structure which is what gives it its remarkable characteristics. It was actually the world's first two-dimensional structure! This means that its atoms are laid out flat therefore one layer of graphene would be one atom thick.

The thinness of graphene makes it have an extremely high surface area to volume ratio. Other incredible properties of graphene include it being 200x stronger than steel, completely transparent, stretchy and elastic, and it's extremely light.

How Can Graphene Protect Metal Roofs Against Corrosion and Rust?

Graphene has the potential to revolutionise entire industries and its applications are virtually limitless from electronics and computing to construction. For our industry, roof coatings can benefit hugely from the integration of graphene.

In conventional coatings, moisture and contaminants can eventually pass through the coating or paint to the substrate. This will lead to corrosion and rust over time. However, adding graphene to hybrid roof coatings creates a superior protective barrier and is virtually impenetrable.

The science behind this technology is that the layers of graphene create a much larger surface area that multiplies the distance that the water and dirt molecules have to travel to pass through the coating by hundreds of times.

Due to the atomic structure, you can get hundreds of layers of graphene in the same thickness as a single lamina flake found in a standard roof coating. For example, if we wanted to create the equivalent level of resistance of graphene in a lamina flake coating, we would end up with a coating that was nearly 20 times thicker.

Even better, graphene also significantly increases the adhesion and flexibility of the coating meaning it has an unrivalled life expectancy.

"The addition of graphene to combat corrosion is a massive step forward within the roofing industry" -Adrian Potts, CEO of Applied Graphene Materials

Graphene Roof Coatings Can Withstand Nearly 10,000 Hours of Extreme Weathering Tests

Corrosion tests simulate very harsh environments that represent years of weathering. In the experiments, graphene roof coatings are tested extensively to test its resistance. Currently, graphene-enhanced coatings withstand nearly 10,000 hours of harsh corrosion, and still, at that point, there is practically no breakdown of the graphene coating. In comparison to the 1,500 hours that coastal coatings and 5,000 hours offshore coatings are tested up to.

Conclusion

Graphene is an incredible material and has exponential benefits, especially within the coatings industry. It provides unparalleled protection from rust and corrosion to all metal surfaces whilst still being easy and convenient to apply. Graphene has enabled the roofing coatings industry to take an enormous step forward for innovation and technology.

Alltimes coatings have developed Advantage Graphene as the solution to every industrial metal roof due to its advanced properties from the addition of graphene into its hybrid technology. Alltimes Advantage is the most advanced and protective roof coating on the market.

 

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