Talga Resources, advanced battery anode materials and graphene additives provider, has announced a commercial-scale trial of a graphene-enhanced coating applied to a 33,000 tonne container ship.
The 700m2 coating of the cargo vessel’s hull is part of advanced testing of Talga’s functionalized graphene (Talphene) additive as a performance booster for existing commercial marine coatings.
The commercial-scale application follows completion of in-house development and patent pending technology that successfully translates graphene’s exceptional mechanical properties into paint and coatings. The result is expected to be a range of environmental and economic benefits, which for marine applications such as shipping and offshore infrastructure includes improved corrosion resistance, decreased metallic paint loss into oceanic ecosystems and increased efficiency through lowering dry docking cycles.
The freshly coated ship is now at sea and over the coming 12-18 months the Talphene-coated area will be evaluated in the harsh real life conditions of global cargo shipping.
To prepare for the commercial scale application and sea trial, a 2-part epoxy based commercial coating system was purchased (Akzo Nobel Intershield 300) and mixed with the Talphene additive before dispatch to the ship management company for application during vessel dry docking (carried out every ~5 years for ships this size).
The test areas along the ship’s starboard side, both below the water line and above in contactwear sites, were blast cleaned to remove prior paint systems before the Talphene-enhanced primer coating was applied (next to a test reference coating without Talphene) in two coats, using manual spray systems.
Talga shared that a major challenge of the product development was to translate the positive lab-scale tests into practical, large-volume use by on-site commercial applicators. The successful application of the Talphene-enhanced coating without any adverse effect in terms of stability in resin, application, curing and surface features is a highly positive step forward in the commercialization process.
The test areas have been over-coated with the standard topcoats used on the rest of the vessel and marked to ensure identification during service. Periodic inspection will be carried out over the next 12-18 months to determine real world performance.
Talga intends to continue development of this Talphene additive for marine coatings under its range of paint and coating additives now trademarked as Talcoat. The next steps include a trial of the additive as an after-market product, to be mixed into the coatings on-site by the commercial applicators, as opposed to being dispersed by Talga prior to despatch.
Talga Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: “The maritime coating sector is a very large market and well suited to use of our Talphene graphene additives for improved environmental and economic outcomes. Additionally, by successfully taking this new product from the laboratory to commercial-scale application on a 33,000 tonne ship, being tested across global marine environments, we are showcasing our graphene’s real-world potential as a bulk industrial product.”