What is a coating?

A coating is a covering that is applied to the surface of an object. The purpose of applying the coating may be decorative, functional, or both. Coatings are ubiquitous and can be found on walls, furniture, on all sorts of wires and printed circuits, the outside of houses and cars, and much more. In addition, the decorative duties of coatings span quite a broad spectrum.

Decorative coatings are mainly used for their color, texture or other visual property. Functional coatings are applied to change the surface properties of the substrate, such as adhesion, wettability, corrosion resistance, wear resistance and more. In some cases, the coating adds an entirely new property such as a magnetic response or electrical conductivity and forms an essential part of the finished product.

Coatings may be used in various processes, that are roughly divided into: vapor deposition, spraying, chemical and electrochemical techniques, roll-to-roll coating processes and other, less prominent techniques.

What is graphene?

Graphene is a two dimensional layer of carbon atoms, arranged in the form of a honeycomb lattice. It is touted as a “miracle material” because it is endowed with an abundance of astonishing traits - this thin, one atom thick substance is the lightest, strongest, thinnest material known to man, as well as the best heat and electricity conductor ever discovered - and the list does not end there. Graphene is the subject of relentless research and is thought to be able to revolutionize whole industries, as researchers work on many different kinds of graphene-based materials - each one with unique qualities and purpose.

Graphene for coatings

The vast selection of extraordinary properties that graphene possesses can open the door to many interesting types of coatings, paints, inks and more. Graphene's high resistivity can make for durable coatings that do not crack and are resistant to water and oil; its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity can be used to make various conductive paints, and a strong barrier effect can contribute to extraordinary anti-oxidant, scratch-resistant and anti-UVA coatings.



Graphene enables a wide array of functional coatings and paints, for many possible applications. Among these can be high performance adhesives enabled by graphene's high adhesion property, anti-bacterial coatings, solar paints (capable of absorbing solar energy and transmitting it), paints that provide isolation for houses, anti-rust coatings, anti-fog paints and UV ray blockers, non-stick coatings for various domestic applications (like frying pans and countertops) and even a much-hyped possibility (currently under scientific examination) of a coating that turns a regular wall into a screen.

Commercial activity

Graphene-enhanced products are yet to reach widespread commercialization. Nonetheless, given graphene’s impressive array of properties and the vigorous R&D that is taking place, graphene-enhanced coatings should not be too far away.

The Sixth Element Materials, a Chinese company that focuses on R&D, mass production and sales of graphene and related materials, showcased its graphene-zinc anti-corrosion primer used for offshore wind power tower, that can come at a competitive price compared with zinc rich epoxy primer.

Garmor, the University of Central Florida spin-off formed to develop a new graphene oxide flakes production process, has developed graphene oxide-based coatings useful for limiting UV radiation damage to sensors and polymers. Garmor's transparent GO-films are reportedly derived from a commercially-viable and scalable process that can be readily implemented with minimal constraints.

Four layers of GO coating on polycarbonateFour layers of GO coating on polycarbonate

The Spain-based Graphenano announced the launch of a graphene-based series of paints and coatings called Graphenstone in 2014. These are said to be very strong and also acts as a protective layer against environmental damage. Graphenstone is made from a graphene powder and limestone powder.

The British Electro Conductive Products released a sprayable transparent conductive coating based on a CNT and graphene platelets (GNP) hybrid material. TBA are targeting the food, electronics, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals markets.The new ATEX-compliant product is available as a clear, anti-static aerosol, and it should also be available as bulk paint. Its application will safeguard electronic equipment used in explosive environments and bring it up to European standards.

Further reading

Latest Graphene coating news

Surwon Technology to sign filtration products deal

Hong Kong-based advanced materials company Surwon Technology announced that a version of a new membrane coating it has tested in heavy-duty desalination applications could soon be part of new water filtration products specially-developed for the consumer market.

The ultra-thin, graphene-based coating has reportedly continued to perform well in ongoing controlled tests at various desalination plants on the Chinese mainland and the company says it is convinced the technology can make a substantial contribution to reducing the cost of thermal and reverse osmosis systems.

Elcora Advanced Materials enters a partnership with China's Elephant Red and receives $1 Million CAD strategic investment

Elcora new logo imageElcora Advanced Materials has announced that it has entered into a strategic relationship with Elephant Red Maple Leaves New Material Technology (Suzhou, China). The objective of this collaboration is to develop graphene coatings applications.

Elcora and its strategic partners are now pursuing the use of graphene in the coatings business for functional and production efficiencies – for instance, by replacing or reducing toxic materials such as cuprous oxide and zinc. The partners will also further explore graphite powder anodes opportunities in Asia and develop graphene enhanced components for Lithium-ion batteries. Elephant Red has many industrial clients and a growing network of about 300 distributors in China.

The Graphene Catalog - find your graphene material here

Applied Graphene Materials launches two new product series

Applied Graphene Materials logoApplied Graphene Materials (AGM) recently announced the launch of two new series within its Genable platform dispersion technology range. The Genable 1000 series, meant to significantly enhance and reduce the content of existing anti-corrosion additives, and the Genable 2000 series, developed to deliver excellent anti-corrosion performance specifically on aluminium substrates.

AGM states that once formulated optimally into anti-corrosion coating systems, Genable dispersions have demonstrated substantial performance gains, providing extensions in coating lifetime of over 3 times under cyclic salt spray testing (ASTM G-85-94 Prohesion). Early adopters are reportedly already successfully applying these materials in real-world applications.

XFNano’s CEO discusses the company’s business and technology

Mr. Xu Jiang, president and general manager of China’s XFNano, was kind enough to answer a few questions we had for him regarding XFNano’s graphene materials, technology and business. Mr. Jiang founded XFNano in 2009, and he holds a master’s degree from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

XFNano Office Building photo

Q: Hello Mr. Jiang, thank you for your time. Can you update us on your graphene production process and facilities?

In 2016, XFNANO put its new production line into operation, which yields an annual production capacity of 50 tons of high-quality graphene powder and 1,000 tons of graphene dispersion. We believe this can meet our customers’ demands for large quantities.

EU project to develop graphene-based products for protection of artwork

An interesting project under the H2020 initiative is GRAPHENART - focused on examining graphene as an anti-fading agent for the protection of artworks. The project, funded at about €150,000, started at October 2017 and will go on until March 2019.

The reasoning behind the project is that fading, yellowing and discoloration are common degradation effects that result from exposure to UV and visible light and oxidizing agents, resulting in the irreversible alteration of the appearance of contemporary artworks. The GRAPHENART project aims to develop innovative, multi-functional graphene-based products (graphene ‘veils’ and inclusions) that provide UV shielding, de-acidification, oxygen and humidity barriers for the protection of old and modern paintings and artworks.

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!