Will graphene improve boat performance? Using graphene in a high performance racing environment where carbon fibre is everywhere has to be worth looking at. Haydale have the marine industry sector as a target. Answering the big question – will it make my boat go faster?
“Collaborating with Alex Thomson Racing, we are developing graphene based materials which can be used to improve overall boat performance, reliability and safety. The potential applications include enhanced mechanical performance for composites used in the boat and lightning strike protection for exposed structures. The latter being a real risk for sailors at sea.
We are also assessing the potential for graphene enhanced materials to improve bearings and friction points. We are working on this project in collaboration with the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC). The WCPC is advising on the nano chemistry aspects of dispersing our graphene into barrier films and coatings and investigating how specific graphene enhanced coatings can improve boat performance.
We also have a partnership agreement with Rogers Advanced Composites Ltd (RAC) to develop and commercialise a range of graphene enhanced composites for marine, aerospace and industrial applications. RAC is developing an Advanced Composites Centre in the South of England which the aim is to have a world class facility for advanced composites development and applications.”
In another article called The Next Generation Of Boat Building: Buckypaper & Graphene Guy Ellis says
“It could theoretically reduce the drag of large ships by up to 50%, which would mean a drastic reduction in fuel consumption. It could also be applied to the yachting and racing industry, keeping the boats fast but with greater structural integrity and resilience. The material is resistant to corrosion and can withstand impacts which would damage boats made of weaker materials.
Perhaps most interesting is the material’s ability to attract oil and repel water. This has exciting possibilities beyond boat construction, and may be vital in oil clean up efforts. Graphene oxide has even less surface roughness, meaning water glides off it with almost no resistance.”
Source: Haydale website & VHR
Image: Hugo Boss 60 foot carbon fibre reinforced yacht
Update: See https://youtu.be/D94USUyH2nQ at 5:42. The Graphene Council says:
“Marine Coatings consume 1,000,000 tonnes of product annually. If graphene is added at a load factor of just .5% by weight it would require 5,000 tonnes of graphene, nearly all of the current production capacity for just this one narrow application.”