Australian technology minerals company, Talga Resources Ltd (ASX: TLG) has reporterd positive initial test results from epoxy resin-based coatings formulated using Talga’s Talphene branded graphene.
Epoxy based coatings are used in a myriad of applications, from internal concrete flooring to urban construction products, and they particularly suit anti-corrosion applications. For this reason, epoxy-based coatings dominate steel protection for marine exposed infrastructure.
Talga’s tests used a formulated dispersion of Talga’s few layered graphene (FLG) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), mixed into a two part epoxy resin (a type of thermoset polymer) used widely in marine coating systems.
Talga Managing Director Mark Thompson said initial test results show significantly improved coating performance attributes including higher corrosion resistance, increased mechanical strength and higher abrasion resistance compared to the control coatings using commercial type zinc-rich epoxy.
He said these results are significant because improved overall coating performance translates to lower application and infrastructure maintenance costs, coupled with environmental benefits such as reduced toxic metals.
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Talga’s formulation coupled to its novel method of incorporation into the resin solves industry issues such as inhomogeneous distribution, and a provisional patent has been lodged to protect Talga’s intellectual property (IP).
Further, these improvements provide an opportunity to achieve similar benefits in other thermoset polymer composites such as carbon fibre reinforced plastics.
Mr Thompson said Talga is now moving to optimise its graphene epoxy technology in tests with independent industry organisations and has commenced an epoxy composite development program with the respected TWI materials and research group based in Cambridge, UK.
The development program will test Talga’s graphene epoxy technology against other commercial products, including high strength additives, for a number of functionalities including thermal and electrical conductivity. Results will lead to preparation of prototype material and data for industry partnerships.
“These results further highlight the potential of Talga graphene in existing large volume industrial markets. By substituting current active ingredients such as zinc with lower quantities of higher performing non-toxic graphene alternatives, the application, environmental and maintenance costs of steel vessels and infrastructure can be reduced,” Mr Thompson said.
Talga’s technology relates both to its formulation and, importantly, the method of incorporating the graphene.
This area has caused issues for industry uptake in the past but our proprietary dispersion technology looks to be a breakthrough for epoxy resins.
These results also provide confidence to apply Talga’s graphene epoxy technology more widely to the fibre-reinforced polymer composite industry that includes aerospace and automotive sectors.”