Tata Steel's first graphene-based product is in the market - the company has announced the launch of ready-made graphene-coated stirrups, named Tiscon Superlinks+. Tata Steel's vice-president (steel & marketing), said when four columns are built, the support link is normally supplied by a local mason, which is made of steel. "But, it usually rusts. We have changed that by coating it with graphene."
Superlink+ reportedly has enhanced corrosion resistance and better bonding strength than other stirrups in the market. Tata Steel has filed seven patent applications in this area of work.
A graphene development cell has been set up by the Company to identify applications and establish new businesses (production units, supply chain and markets). Two advanced material research centers have been established. One is at Chennai, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology there. The other is at Bengaluru, with the Center for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences.
The Company commented that as long as graphene is used as a value-add in steel, Tata Steel could work on it. For other applications, it would have to approach other companies.
In April 2014, Tata Steel signed a strategic partnership with the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to co-develop graphene-coated steel and other innovations. In November 2015, Tata and Talga Resources signed a collaboration agreement to explore opportunities in graphene supply, processing and applications. In May 2016, TS announced its intention to start manufacturing graphene, moving away from a steel company to a materials production company.