First Graphene Limited (ASX: FGR) has reached an agreement with TPR and its Australian distributor Exfire to work on the commercialisation of a fire retardant coating utilising FGR’s PureGRAPH.
FGR holds the global licencing rights to a graphene-based fire-retardant coating from the University of Adelaide (UoA). Development of the FireStop product has been conducted over a three-year period in collaboration with the UoA, as part of the company’s participation as a Tier-1 member of the ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation.
Patents have progressed to National Phase and are in the examination phase in Australia, Europe and the United States of America.
Following the successful development of a fire-retardant coating formulation the product was tested according to the UL94, Limited Oxygen Index (LOI), adhesion and weathering standard test methods with simultaneous testing of commercially available products.
Performance in the UL94 and LOI test were evaluated in relation to the thickness of coating required for effective fire protection against commercial products.
The UoA has continued development work on FireStop using FGR’s graphene as the primary ingredient after confirming it is well-suited for the purpose. Test work has involved extensive bench scale tests for the preparation of FireStop solutions at different graphene concentration levels.
Different coating thicknesses have been evaluated and results showed FireStop coatings are effective at only 33% of the thickness of competitor products.
FGR Managing Director, Craig McGuckin, said this has obvious commercial advantages, particularly if effectiveness is achieved with only one coat. Early stage analysis has shown the cost of FireStop is significantly less than competitor products making it a preferred product both on technical and economic grounds.
Testing of FireStop has been undertaken on several timber cladding substrates, and adhesion testing completed on timber, aluminium and plastic.
These developments are of particular value at a time when many standard industry fire retardants contain halogenated materials and these are being phased out for environmental reasons.
Mr McGuckin said the company will now work with TPR, and its Australian distributor Exfire, with the intent of completing due diligence and moving towards commercialising FGR’s PureGRAPH in a new fire-retardant coating technology.