Funditec, in collaboration with Carbon Waters, our NewSkin OITB partner, develop anti-corrosion graphene additives for polyurethane paints

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NewSkin OITB partners Carbon Waters and FUNDITEC have been working in collaboration to develop graphene additives for both water and solvent-based polyurethane paints. The barrier properties of graphene make it possible to protect against corrosion more durably! The initial tests (Tafel and EIS) carried out show that polyurethane paints formulated with Carbon Waters additives, protect metals surfaces from corrosion for longer times than the reference topcoat. In addition, compared to other carbon additives such as nanotubes at the same concentration, Carbon Waters pre-dispersed graphene is more performant, easier to use and does not affect the colour.

As part of the NewSkin facilities, FUNDITEC’s team acts as a technology provider in the field of functional nano-coatings, developing polyurethane formulations and nano-formulated organic protective coatings with high-wear resistance for anti-fouling and anti-corrosion properties on steel substrates and anti-ice properties on nano-textured composite samples.

As part of the NewSkin team, Carbon Waters bring their expertise on the synthesis and stabilization of graphene additives in various matrices (including water). As a technology provider in the field of high-performance additives, Carbon Waters provides different type of additives containing graphene to be tested once added to commercial paint formulations. It also directly modifies commercial topcoats to increase the performances such as corrosion protection, aging of intumescence coatings or anti-fouling.

In this collaboration with Carbon Waters, FUNDITEC’s team focuses on the preparation and evaluation of dispersions with different carbon nanomaterials, to enhance the properties (mechanical and corrosion protection) of polyurethane top-coats. The work developed includes the enrichment (up to 0.15% dry coating) of commercial topcoats with graphene and MWCNT dispersions developed by Carbon Waters and FUNDITEC respectively. The resulting water and solvent-borne coating formulations were applied on steel substrates and the anticorrosion properties were evaluated.

In the NewSkin facilities, multiple and in-depth characterisation can be performed on a large variety of target applications and on large scale samples. For instance, the coatings prepared by FUNDITEC using Carbon Waters additive are characterised by SIRRIS in a unique ice test chamber developed as part of the NewSkin test bed facilities. While TECNALIA will rigorously evaluate the effect of aggressive industrial environments on corrosion and tribology and the behaviour of the coating off-shore in their Harshlab test facility, an unique off-shore platform in the harbour of San Sebastian. Other NewSkin partners, e.g. Institute for Steel Construction at Leibniz Hanover University (LUH) can support in the testing of particular geometries such as bolts for mechanical and corrosion characterisation.

Figure 1: Graphene dispersed in water, one of the products developed by Carbon Waters to enhance coatings performances.

Figure 2: As part of the H2020 European project NewSkin OITB, Carbon Waters is developing, in collaboration with FUNDITEC, water-based graphene additives for polyurethane paints. The tests carried out show that water-base coating formulated with Carbon Waters additives protect metals surfaces longer from corrosion than the reference topcoat.

Figure 3. Solvent-base coating formulated with Carbon Waters additive shows more stable corrosion properties in time than the reference topcoat in accelerated cyclic electrochemical measurements.

Thus, the EU-funded NewSkin Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) project is offering unique pilot scale prototyping, upscaling, and testing facilities as well as route to market services, and access to investors, to SMEs, Research labs and industry to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative nano-surface and membrane materials and technology across Europe.

Figure 4: The preparation of high-performance graphene additives at Carbon Waters is the basis of this NewSkin showcase prior to extensive testing of graphene-enriched coatings by multiple partners.

Figure 5: Water and solvent-borne system of nano-enhanced polyurethane coatings with CNM dispersions applied by FUNDITEC

Figure 6: Corrosion evaluation of nano-enhanced polyurethane coatings by FUNDITEC

You can apply for free access to this and other NewSkin Open Innovation Test Bed facilities through NewSkin OITB Open Calls. Call 3 extended deadline is 3rd Feb 2023. The fourth and final call will open in February 2023, with deadline 17 July 2023. For more details on the services available see and contact the team today!

To apply, please contact the team on to make an initial enquiry, and/or to discuss the services for your potential application. You can sign up here to the NewSkin platform and complete the short online application form. Applicants can request an NDA before filling the open call application – please email to arrange this.

The NewSkin services offered are expected to speed-up the launch of novel nanomaterials and membranes, and commercial or personal products using these advanced materials, to boost efficiency and to support industry, especially SMEs, in better and faster development of their products.