Graphene is a man made material that was discovered by two professors at the University of Manchester in 2004.

A mere atom-thick, graphene is incredibly thin and yet has also proven to be incredibly strong. One study has suggested that graphene-coated spiders’ silk would have enough strength to catch a falling plane.

As a relatively recent discovery, graphene continues to spark new and exciting research projects around the world with new lightbulbs, batteries and building materials just some of the applications where the material is set to be used.

Surface engineering is a core area where the attributes of graphene can be utilized and we at SIFCO ASC, along with sister companies across Norman Hay plc, are excitedly exploring how we can use this material to help improve our customers’ cars, planes, medical equipment, subsea oil and gas equipment and much more.

One recent study that has been of particular interest to us is the addition of graphene coatings to make steel corrosion-resistant. The research, conducted by a team at Deakin University in Australia, grew graphene nanoflakes on micron-sized fibres of stainless steel, enhancing the material’s resistance to corrosion and its electrical conductivity.

A full version of the Deakin University study; Growth of nano-textured graphene coatings across highly porous stainless steel supports towards corrosion resistant coatings, can be found in the Carbon Journal: