Paint has composition 200 times harder than steel

A Vietnamese scientist and enterprise have successfully researched a graphite-based water-based paint that can withstand shocks, weather…

Dr. Dinh Duc Anh, research leader of the Institute of High Technology, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, said that graphene is 200 times stronger than steel, has a two-dimensional nanostructure, so the inclusion of paint components contributes to increased mechanical properties. properties of the paint film such as hardness and abrasion. “Graphene also has the ability to quickly dissipate heat when coated on different material surfaces,” said Dr. Anh.

Vu Van Linh (58 years old, Director of Viet Nhat Paint Company) sees a great opportunity because multinational corporations have never applied graphene in paints for more than 15 years. In September 2019, more than 10 members of the research team of the Institute of High Technology, Nguyen Tat Thanh University (District 4, Ho Chi Minh City) and 5 R&D experts of the enterprise coordinated to conduct experiments and tests. production of graphene paint.

Paint has composition 200 times harder than steel
Dr. Dinh Duc Anh (left) and Mr. Vu Van Linh introduce the experimental graphene paint box. Photo: Ha An .

The research team of Nguyen Tat Thanh University is responsible for synthesizing the laboratory-scale graphene material, testing the properties of the new paint compared to conventional paint. The enterprise side is doing experiments, trying to put graphene into paint formulations on an industrial scale to create final products and testing paints at construction sites.

According to the research team, this is the most difficult stage because “trial and error and a lot of money are needed to produce the optimal final product. There are tests done in the laboratory that give feasible results, but when done. on an industrial scale, it is skewed,” said the group’s representative.

Mr. Linh recounted that at the stage of stirring paint with 20 different additives, the laboratory propeller was very small. But at the industrial scale of the stirring impeller longer than 1 meter, the variable stirring speed causes the paint components between the laboratory and the industry to skew, forcing adjustment. The two sides must uniformly calculate the adjustment and optimization from the laboratory to avoid repeated testing. Along with that is the consideration of the time for graphene, the calculation of the graphene content in the paint, the stirring speed in this step to have the optimal product in terms of quality and cost.

Paint has composition 200 times harder than steel
Laboratory at the enterprise with many chemicals and additives for testing graphene paint. Photo: Ha An.

In August 2020, the first test product took shape after “more than 80 times working directly with the two sides, more than 100 emails exchanged and countless calls with Duc Anh and other personnel”, Mr. Linh remembers. again.

The research team started testing paint with housing projects in Vung Tau city (Ba Ria – Vung Tau province), Go Cong Dong district (Tien Giang province). The new coating works are water-based paints containing graphene, which are made free of charge by businesses. The walls of a house are painted with different types of graphene paint, depending on the intensity of sunlight, sea breeze…

Nearly 4 months have passed with rain, sunshine, and sea breeze bringing salt vapor, but the walls are still shiny, not showing signs of peeling or patchy. The research team said that as long as the wall can withstand at least two rainy and sunny seasons (two years), the basic testing process is completed and can be commercially produced. Currently, the research team’s paint at the test stage has a hardness of 2 to 5% compared to conventional paints of the same type.

According to Mr. Linh, the price of graphene paint products is not different from that of traditional paints, but the advantages of enduring harsh weather, rubbing and impact are much better. The competitive price is also by taking advantage of cheap raw materials. Dr. Duc Anh said that just over 95% pure graphite can be used to synthesize graphene.

According to Dr. Duc Anh, there is currently only one enterprise in Spain researching and applying graphene in the world. However, this business applies to lime paint, not water-based paint. In Vietnam, some enterprises produce paints with graphene composition, but the quantity is small and the cost is high.