Article last updated on: Jan 25, 2019

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

The latest graphene coating news:

Talga reports positive results from marine real-world testing of its graphene-based coatings

Talga Resources has reported a milestone moment in a sea trial of its Talcoat graphene coating.

Talga starts trial of graphene coating on cargo ship image

The company initially developed the graphene coating as an alternative to traditional coating methods that incorporate harmful chemicals and materials and first applied Talcoat to the hull of a ship back in late 2019 as part of a sea trial to test the coating’s robustness out in the tough ocean environment. A second application on a separate vessel followed soon after, and both trials remain ongoing.

Zen Graphene Solutions and TreborRx announce nitrile glove agreement

Zen Graphene Solutions has announced an agreement reached on January 16th with TreborRx (Trebor) for application of its graphene-based coating on nitrile gloves sourced or produced by Trebor.

ZEN will provide Trebor with a distribution agreement for Canada, the USA and Mexico. Trebor agrees to use the coating on all gloves sold and will pay ZEN a royalty per glove coated, with a minimum first year guarantee of 100 million gloves.

A graphene industry, market and new conference series interview with Dr. Khasha Ghaffarzadeh

Our friend Dr. Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, a well respected graphene market analyst, is launching a new service called TechBlick that is a subscription-based online and all-year round event focused on advanced materials such as graphene, 2D materials, CNTs, boron nitrides, QDs, and more.

Graphene-Info partnered with TechBlick, to provide our readers an exclusive 25% discount on the TechBlick subscription. We took advantage of this launch to discuss the graphene market and industry with Dr. Ghaffarzadeh and also discuss the new service.

Hello Kasha. How do you see the graphene market shaping up in 2021?

I have closely followed and examined the graphene industry for a full decade. The landscape has certainly changed. Many companies have come and gone, and many once considered revolutionary applications are now ruled out, but overall, the industry is now at a tipping point.

We think 2021/2022 will be a turning point, setting the industry on its growth path, despite the delays caused these past 12 months due to Covid. For some, these delays have been painful as projects were pushed back or partners or customers dropped graphene to focus on other core areas. Many undershot their growth expectations, and some had difficult cash flow situations.

Applied Graphene Materials customer Halo Autocare launches second graphene-enhanced car polishing wax product

Applied Graphene Materials has announced that its customer, Halo Autocare, a leading innovator in car care products, has launched Graphene Alloy Wheel Wax as part of its EZ Car Care range of products. This is the second graphene-enhanced wax polish product launched by Halo Autocare as part of its Graphene Innovation Programme, which uses AGM’s Genable® graphene dispersion technology.

Applied Graphene Materials customer launches second graphene-enhanced car polishing wax product image

The microcrystalline wax-based polish is said to be the result of the continued partnership and a rigorous testing programme delivered by Halo Autocare. This has produced a new product that delivers extended performance benefits, including improved thermal and chemical resistance to enhance coating durability further for demanding wheel and exhaust applications. The temperature resistance made possible through the new graphene nanoplatelet formulation helps with durability when alloy wheels heat up from consistent brake use. Combining these attributes with excellent barrier performance means that water spotting is also less likely to occur.

Graphene coating could help create higher energy density lithium-ion batteries

Researchers at Northwestern University and Clemson University in the U.S, along with researchers from Sejong University in Korea, have examined the origins of degradation in high energy density LIB cathode materials and developed graphene-based strategies for mitigating those degradation mechanisms and improving LIB performance.

Their research could be valuable for many emerging applications, particularly electric vehicles and grid-level energy storage for renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.