Graphene enhances polymers, improving wear performance in Australian iron ore bucket liners. Graphene is able to absorb UV and scavenge radicals, reducing polymer photodegradation.

About

Graphene has displayed the ability to absorb UV radiation and absorb free radicals caused by UV irradiation of polymers, therefore, providing photooxidative protection to the polymer.
Graphene-enhanced polyurethane (PU) has proven field performance in the harshest environments, within a Western Australia iron ore mine, exposed to high temperatures of 40+ °C, extremely high UV irradiation, high-speed airborne abradants, and high relative humidity. The graphene-enhanced PU shows 6x better wear performance than a standard PU system. This dramatic reduction in wear is achieved at the low loading of graphene active, 1%, with respect to the total PU. As well as such thermosetting systems, we have been able to incorporate graphene successfully in a range of thermoplastic systems including polyethylene (PE), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). As such, we may have an off-the-shelf masterbatch solution to the erosion and failure of scaffolding pipe ends and coupler covers.
As part of the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre, University of Manchester, we have in-house expertise and a network of polymer experts able to create well-dispersed, bespoke graphene-polymer compounds, and are therefore also keen to enter a technical development program with the client.

Key Benefits

Enhancing scaffolding pipe ends and coupler covers with graphene technology will likely increase the lifetime of the components beyond their current lifecycle. This will provide an efficiency saving, as well as improving operator safety, due to reduced frequency of component loss. There may also be a cost saving if the components last longer.

Applications

This graphene innovation is applicable to any market requiring erosion resistance in highly demanding environments, so is likely to be attractive to a multitude of markets. The immediate market of interest is the engineering market where the scaffolding pipe end protectors and coupler covers require enhanced performance.

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