U.K. Maritime Assets Receive Graphene-Enhanced Coatings

EA flood gate in Skinningrove on the United Kingdom’s Northeast coast. Photo courtesy of AGM.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) (Redcar and Cleveland, United Kingdom), a leading graphene dispersion and application technology company, recently announced that its Genable CX-based anticorrosion primer was successfully applied to flood defense assets belonging to the Environment Agency (EA), a non-departmental public body charged with environmental protection and regulation in England.

Ideally suited to CX, or extreme marine environments, AGM’s new graphene enhanced primer coated the coastal flood defense gates in Skinningrove and Redcar and Cleveland, all located on the Northeast coast of England.

The completion of the EA coating project marks the culmination of an 18-month period marked by in-depth testing and evaluation of anticorrosion performance for both salt-spray and immersion in harsh test regimes. With the successful application of its harsh environment, anticorrosion coating system, AGM further demonstrated its bona fides in the barrier performance and anticorrosion product marketplace.Promoting anticorrosion performance with a graphene-based primer. Photo courtesy of AGM.

According to AGM, the Genable CX primer is a high-performance hybrid system that relies on graphene and aluminum chemistries to provide anticorrosion protection for offshore, marine, and other harsh environments. The EA project is a milestone for both the company and its product in that it was the first customer application of the graphene-enhanced coating system on a coastal facility. But it will not be the last, as AGM has several planned applications of the system on other EA assets.

“Being based in the North East and seeing our products used locally is testament to the excellent platform of graphene R&D [research and development] which AGM has developed in the region,” says Adrian Potts, chief executive officer of AGM. “After many years of product development and rigorous testing of example graphene formulations for a range of increasingly harsh corrosion environments, it is extremely gratifying to see the successful application of these coatings in harsh coastal and sea spray conditions through the EA.”

For its part, the EA observed the tangible benefits of AGM coatings on its assets and foresees a beneficial partnership going forward.Graphene can reduce corrosion damage over time. Photo courtesy of AGM.

“We have welcomed the opportunity to engage with AGM, who have supplied us with their new advanced graphene primer that was used in December 2021 on one of our FRM [flood risk management] assets,” says John Abraham of EA.

“The asset, comprising of two flood barrier gates, two sluice gates, and various auxiliary components, [are] all within the harsh coastal environment where we have to carry out frequent maintenance due to its location,” Abraham adds. “We have uniquely used this FRM asset, with the other half in the standard offering we use, giving us a direct comparison [and] real-world results in a relatively short period of time.”

Extending the Life of Coated Assets in Real-World Conditions

Half of the coastal flood defense gates in Skinningrove and Redcar and Cleveland were coated with AGM’s graphene-enhanced Genable CX anticorrosion primer, while the other half were coated with a commercially available primer from another global producer. The same topcoat was then applied across the full site. Over the coming months and years, the two paint systems will be compared alongside one another to assess the performance of the AGM coating under real-world conditions.

A more environmentally friendly surface protection system. Photo courtesy of AGM. “We are excited by the opportunity to engage with England’s Environment Agency and look forward to seeing how the partnership develops,” says Andy Gent, commercial director for AGM. “The application of our anticorrosion graphene-based primer on further EA assets represents another positive step towards the wider adoption of AGM’s innovative graphene dispersion technology across the coatings sector.”

The EA has set forth ambitious sustainability targets, including a reduction of its carbon footprint to reach net zero by 2030. By using a coating system like the Genable primer that incorporates a graphene-based alternative to traditional additives, EA assets will have increased surface protection. As a result, required maintenance intervals of FRM assets will be lengthened and costs minimized, while also offering EA a more environmentally friendly solution that reduces its carbon footprint in maintenance activities.

“We are looking forward to working with AGM [on] further trials in 2022 of this interesting and innovative product within a range of real-world environments,” says Abraham.EA asset before, during, and after the anticorrosion coating application. Photo courtesy of AGM.

Source: Materials Performance April 2022

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