Those tired of battling rust may soon have what scientists are calling a ‘wonder’ paint. Graphene combined with oxygen would create a graphene oxide that could banish rust forever. The paint would be an ultra-strong and non-corrosive coating that could be applied to everything from metals to bricks.

Researchers from Manchester University say that the breakthrough could revolutionize nearly all industries. Medical, nuclear and transport industries could benefit from the coating.

Scientists, led by Dr. Rahul Nair and Sir Andre Geim, showed that the multilayers of graphene oxide would be vacuum tight under dry conditions. When wet, the material could act as a molecular sieve, allowing the passage of some molecules below a certain size. Think the most incredible water filter ever, and you’re on the right track.

Dr Nair said: ‘Graphene paint has a good chance to become a truly revolutionary product for industries that deal with any kind of protection either from air, weather elements or corrosive chemicals.

‘Those include, for example, medical, electronics and nuclear industry or even shipbuilding, to name but the few.’

With the anti-corrosive properties, the breakthrough is already generating commercial interest. Being able to seal something once and forget it? That’s huge in cost-effective terms for a variety of businesses.

How well does the ‘wonder’ paint work? Researchers put a coat of the graphene-based paint on glassware and copper plates. The glassware and plates were then able to be used to hold strongly corrosive acids. It sounds like a bad YouTube series of will it melt through, but it shows the strength of graphene breakthrough.

Read the full study in Nature Communications.

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