Researchers from Rice University in collaboration with Lockheed Martin developed a new graphene based compound that can be used as a deicing (ice protection) coating for marine and airborne radars.

Currently most radar domes use ceramic alumina for deicing, but it takes a lot of power to heat them if they are coated with ice because they are poor conductors. The new compound is based on graphene nano-ribbons (GNRs) and polyurethane car paint. The car paint helps the graphene stay on the radar dome.

The researchers produced two square feet samples using a polyimide (flexible polymer) substrate. This was spray-coated with the polyurethane paint. The GNR coating (100-nanometer thick) was airbrushed on the paint. Platinum electrodes were connected to the GNR layer and when a voltage is applied, the compound can deice ice within minutes (at -20 Celsius). The coating was also found to be nearly invisible to radio frequencies.

The researchers are now working towards producing similar films which are transparent - and this can be used to deice car windshields

This is the 2nd Lockheed Martin graphene research we're aware of. Earlier in 2014 the company announced it has developed a new energy-efficient graphene-based water desalination technologyy. They aim to commercialize this by 2015.

Source: Phys.org



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