What is Graphene Coating?
Graphene, also known under the name graphite, is a single sheet of graphite. The microscopic surface graphene has an incredibly high surface area and is formed out of many hexagonal rings that or connected to each other.
The total structure is known to be very strong and durable. Under the right circumstances it can retain a flexible property while still resisting large forces. Due to its very tightly packed carbon atoms, it is very stabile and can be used on many different forms.
One of the popular uses is to give strength to materials it is applied to – Carbon fiber can be considered an example of this. As a nano-layer it is small enough to be invisible, and versatile enough to be applied to almost any material/surface.
Due to its predictable surface formation, it can be repaired easily. The self-repairing or self-healing property is mostly thanks to the addition of exposure of carbon-containing molecules, such as hydrocarbons (many waxes, such as paraffin wax are hydrocarbons). This makes it very easy to maintain the coating. Wear and tear could (in theory) be easily solved by applied a hydrocarbon-rich product that allows the nano-structure to heal and correct itself. This property has not yet been tested thoroughly enough in the world of detailing to conclusively say if the adaptations in the automotive industry support this behavior. There is still a risk that the process of turning it into a coating makes it lose certain properties.
Well, Carbon can be found in many shapes depending on its molecular structure. Some well-known forms of carbon can be found in our Graphite or Diamonds. In 2004 Graphene was discovered in the form of powder particles. It is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice or a chicken wire structure if you will. This gives Graphene some amazing properties.
While in this structure it is many times stronger than steel, and only a fraction of its weight. It has some flexibility, but if it loses that hexagonal structure it becomes extremely brittle and easily falls apart.
Chicken Mesh/Wire Structure of Graphene Coatings.
Heralded as the ‘Miracle Material’ by both Detailers, Manufacturers and the scientific community, Graphene-Oxide is a ultra light, virtually transparent substance that is supposedly 200 times stronger than steel and serves excellent heat, electricity, conducting capabilities. But is it worth to apply it on a car’s paint? Lets dive a bit deeper into this.
Graphene coatings have taken the automotive industry by storm, introducing a new era of protection and performance. Leveraging the extraordinary properties of graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, these coatings offer a suite of technical specifications that surpass traditional protection products. In this article, we delve into the technical aspects that make graphene coatings stand out, from its molecular structure to its cutting-edge application methods, and explore how these coatings are redefining car care.
The Molecular Marvel: Graphene
At the core of graphene coatings lies the wonder material itself – graphene. Comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice, graphene boasts unparalleled attributes that contribute to its exceptional performance as a coating material.
1. Structural Strength: Graphene is incredibly strong, with a tensile strength of over 130 gigapascals, making it more than 100 times stronger than steel. This structural strength forms a robust shield against mechanical damage, protecting the vehicle’s paint from scratches and stone chips.
2. High Thermal and Electrical Conductivity: Graphene exhibits excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. When applied as a coating, this property aids in dissipating heat, preventing the paintwork from overheating under intense sunlight.
3. Hydrophobicity: The hydrophobic nature of graphene creates a water-repellent surface that actively repels water, preventing water spots and promoting self-cleaning properties. Rainwater and contaminants bead up and slide off the surface with ease.
4. Chemical Resistance: Graphene’s chemical inertness grants it impressive resistance to various environmental pollutants, acidic substances, and corrosive agents, preserving the vehicle’s paint from chemical damage.
5. Single-Atom Thickness: Graphene coatings are exceptionally thin, with a single-atom thickness. This ensures a smooth and clear surface, enhancing the paint’s gloss and clarity, creating a captivating visual finish.
Advanced Application Techniques
Applying graphene coatings requires precision and expertise, as well as specialized equipment to achieve optimal results. Professional detailers employ advanced techniques to ensure effective bonding and uniform coverage of the coating.
1. Molecular Bonding: Graphene coatings create a molecular bond with the vehicle’s surface, forming a seamless integration at the atomic level. This bond enhances the coating’s adhesion and longevity.
2. Multi-Layer Application: In some cases, multiple layers of graphene coatings are applied to enhance protection and depth of shine. Each layer enhances the overall performance, providing a cumulative effect.
3. Curing Process: Graphene coatings often require a curing process, which involves allowing the coating to bond and harden to its full potential. This curing period varies depending on the specific product used.
Performance and Longevity
Graphene coatings deliver remarkable performance and longevity, ensuring the vehicle remains protected and looking its best for an extended period.
1. Long-Lasting Protection: Graphene coatings can last for several years with proper maintenance, offering durable protection against environmental elements and UV rays.
2. Scratch and Swirl Resistance: The inherent strength of graphene provides scratch and swirl resistance, minimizing the risk of surface imperfections during maintenance.
3. Easy Maintenance: Graphene coatings’ hydrophobicity facilitates effortless maintenance, as dirt and contaminants are less likely to adhere to the smooth surface, resulting in easier and less frequent cleaning.
Graphene coatings exemplify a marriage of advanced technology and the wonders of graphene, setting new standards in automotive protection and performance. From its molecular structure to advanced application techniques, these coatings harness the full potential of graphene to safeguard the vehicle’s paint and deliver a mesmerizing finish. As the automotive industry embraces this cutting-edge innovation, vehicle owners can expect a transformative experience in car care, where technical excellence and visual brilliance merge seamlessly.
So, Is Graphene better than a Ceramic?