How Nanocoatings Work2024-01-19T17:05:48+00:00

HOW NANOCOATINGS WORK

HOW NANOCOATINGS WORK

How Tesla Nanocoatings Revolutionized Carbon Nanotubes

CNTs: The Strongest Material Known to Man

 

Carbon nanotubes are the strongest and stiffest material known to man.

Despite their minuscule size, these fascinating carbon structures have been recorded to display up to 50 times the tensile strength of steel.

If their immense strength wasn’t impressive enough, carbon nanotubes also serve as incredible conductors of electricity, with roughly 1,000 times the conductivity of copper.

These two key physical characteristics are exactly why carbon nanotubes are integrated into our protective coating systems.

A single carbon nanotube isn’t very effective in a coating film due its size being a billionth of a meter. Far too small to see with the naked eye. However, billions of carbon nanotubes working together in concert has changed the protective coatings landscape. The key to Tesla Nanocoatings’ success lies in our ability to functionalize carbon nanotubes in such a way that they become attracted to one-another and self-align. This self-alignment process creates a three dimensional “rebar” like framework in the coating film. This “rebar” reinforcement allows Tesla’s Carbon Nanotube Zinc Rich Epoxy to max out impact damage and pull-off adhesion testing.

How Do Carbon Nanotubes Work in a Protective Coating?

Carbon Nanotube Technology Proves There Is Strength in Numbers

A single carbon nanotube (CNT) isn’t very effective in an epoxy coating due its size being a billionth of a meter- far too small to see with the naked eye. However, billions of CNTs working together in concert can imbue a nanocoating with astonishing durability, changing the protective coatings landscape as we know it.

The key to Tesla Nanocoatings’ success lies in our ability to functionalize carbon nanotubes in such a way that they become attracted to one another and self-align. This self-alignment process creates a three dimensional framework within the epoxy coating film, which functions similarly to rebar supports within concrete structures. This “rebar” reinforcement allows Tesla’s nanocoatings, like zinc primers and epoxy topcoats, to max out both impact damage testing and pull-off adhesion testing.

By providing a previously unseen level of support throughout the epoxy film, the addition of CNTs facilitate far superior edge retention to other protective coatings. They are the driving force behind our patented 2×1 Wet Edge™ application process, which eliminates the need for tedious stripe coating.

Better yet, CNTs enable our epoxy to conduct electrons throughout the film far better traditional zinc primers. This carbon nanotube technology makes our protective coatings the most effective against corrosion and oxidation by far, even in harsh offshore environments.

Imagine the entire exterior of the Empire State Building was coated with a Tesla CNT coating. If by some unprecedented circumstances mechanical damage were to occur to the coating at street level, the carbon nanotube framework would allow electron transfer from the very top of the spire all the way down to the damaged area- covering a distance of 1,250ft in an instant. This electron transfer capability is just one of the many reasons that Tesla’s carbon nanotube technology is so revolutionary in the protective coating industry.

With the integration of CNTs, our coatings easily adhere to both ISO 12944-9 and NORSOK M 501.

To put it simply: superior mechanical properties = minimal likelihood of damage = best possible coating performance.

Okay- But What Are Carbon Nanotubes?

The Latest Discovery in Carbon Structures

The term “carbon nanotubes” refers to a very specific structure of carbon atoms. Pure carbon structures have previously been observed in nature in only two forms- graphite, and diamond. Extensive lab research led to the discovery of another form of carbon structure in 1991: a nanoscopic tube shape comprised of just a single layer of carbon atoms. That structure is what we now know as a carbon nanotube.

Carbon nanotubes are almost unfathomably small. With the wall of these structures being only a single carbon atom thick, they are completely imperceptible to the naked eye.

To provide an example of their size: the average human hair is about 1mm thick. As you can see in the photo below, a singular carbon fiber is only a fraction of the size of a strand of hair at just 7 microns thick.

Now, CNTs are entirely dwarfed by carbon fibers. What you see in the photo to the right is a single carbon fiber which is surrounded on all sides by carbon nanotubes. Yes, those barely-there squiggles on your screen are what we’re talking about when we discuss the strongest material known to man.

Don’t let the scale of CNTs fool you, because their power is not to be underestimated. What they may lack in size, they more than make up for by imbuing our protective coatings with unparalleled adhesion, rapid electron transfer, and outstanding durability.

carbon fiber and human hair
carbon fiber and human hair
carbon fiber

To learn more about how TESLAN® coatings can offer superior protection of steel assets like rigs and offshore structures in just a fraction of the time, give us a call or send us an email today.

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