The call in the scope of which GRAPHICING project was proposed you can find on Website Funding and Tender Opportunities of the European Commission under following link:
In one CEST project, nanoadditives, based on the material of the 21st century graphene were synthesized, characterized, modified, applied and tested in corrosion protective organic coatings on metallic surfaces. The first important part of the project was to be able to synthesize graphene-based material with appropriate quality by using a possibly low-cost method with a potential for up-scaling. Here, an innovative electrochemical method was modified and further developed. Graphite was exfoliated under anodic conditions in appropriate electrolyte solutions, where at the same time the oxidation of carbon atoms happens. This results in graphene oxide, a nanomaterial composing of carbon atoms and with varying oxidation degree and number of organic functional groups. These functional groups enable for a wide functionalization possibility of the material, due to which a good integrability into the dedicated organic paint systems can be achieved. This was all carried out in the scope of the project, specifically for the metallic surfaces and for the paint systems provided by the project partners.
The targeted development of graphene-based material was carried out according to a profound scientific investigation of the material, where a complex analysis of the composition and the structure, using techniques from the simplest chemical analytical ones until the instrumental analytical ones were used. By Raman Spectroscopy the oxidation and exfoliation grade, by Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction and Atomic Force Microscopy the structure and by chemical methods the composition were determined. The composition was finely tuned by different chemical synthesis methods. Not only the graphene based material, but also free-standing (not applied on metallic surface yet) paint layers containing graphene based material were studied regarding their permeability for different corrosive species like water and oxygen molecules and for important compounds of targeted technical applications.
The obtained excellent results present a remarkable economic benefit. By using graphene based material in the organic coating, thinner layers may be applied, or also thinner galvanic zinc layers would be necessary for same organic coating thickness, resulting in considerable energy savings, in the first place for the automotive and the marine industry.
Moreover, the findings can revolutionize different other industry sectors not only due to corrosion aspects, but also other functional properties. Keeping in mind, that in this project, a simpler graphene materials based composite was developed, it paved the way in direction of aeronautical systems, where the integrated water impermeable, lightning strike and fire protective properties and the de-icing potential due to a high conductivity of graphene based materials are in the centre of interest.