Graphene nanotubes for gelcoats: conductivity with preserved light colors and simple handling
TUBALL™ graphene nanotubes, also known as single wall carbon nanotubes, provide permanent electrical conductivity to gelcoats, while preserving light colors and allowing application via spraying.
TUBALL™ graphene nanotubes are applied via easy-to-use TUBALL™ MATRIX, which is a line of anti-static masterbatches based on polymer carriers and pre-dispersed TUBALL™ graphene nanotubes.
Plasticizer + stabilizing agent
Triethylene glycol dimethacrylate + ammonium salt of polyolefin-based derivatives
TUBALL™ graphene nanotubes are a versatile conductive agent offering strong performance on all key parameters
Note: this diagram provides average trends compared with other additives, based on OCSiAl data. Product performance may vary depending on product type and formulation.
Full range of electrical resistivity
OCSiAl internal formulation ASTM D257
Easy to apply
TUBALL™ MATRIX can be processed with standard equipment that is widely used in the coatings industry.
Standard single-shaft high-speed mixer
25 min total dilution time
Instant quality control with a grindometer to reach particle size ≤ 15 µm
Other benefits provided by TUBALL™ nanotubes for anti-static gelcoats:
- Limited impact on viscosity
- Low dosage gives greater flexibility in the final formulation
- Easy to apply and the low dosage makes the logistics less complex and more efficient
TUBALL™ graphene nanotubes are applied via easy-to-use TUBALL™ MATRIX, which is a line of ESD additives based on polymer carriers and pre-dispersed TUBALL™ graphene nanotubes.
The difference between conductive and non-conductive gelcoats
Most fiberglass molds have non-conductive tooling gelcoats that accumulate static electricity, resulting in safety risks and difficulties in handling.
A new generation of conductive tooling gelcoats offers the advantage of maintaining the performance of the standard gelcoat while making molds safer and easier to use by reducing factors such as dust attraction, possibility of electric shocks to workers, and issues with de-molding. Today, a growing number of composite manufacturers prefer to choose conductive tooling gelcoats over traditional ones.
Traditional non-conductive tooling gelcoats have a high level of resistivity of more than 10^13 ohm/sq, while conductive tooling gelcoats have resistivity of lower than 10^9 ohm/sq. However, they are alike in terms of mechanical performance, the range of colors available and possible application technology (for example via spraying).
Moreover, conductive tooling gelcoats demonstrate a number of benefits for composite parts manufacturers, such as less dust accumulation on the mold surface and a simpler cleaning process. This leads to better surface quality, less wastage and higher gloss of the final products.
The main benefit of a conductive gelcoat over standard gelcoats is its ability to minimize static electricity accumulation during the de-molding procedure, resulting in higher efficiency thanks to less force required and shorter production cycles. Grounded fiberglass molds with conductive gelcoats minimise the chances of workers receiving electric shocks, and the risk of explosions or fires.
The most common conductive agents available on the market are carbon black and ammonium salts. However, they demonstrate a number of shortcomings – for example, carbon black virtually blocks spray application, and ammonium salts do not provide the required permanent conductivity. In contrast, graphene nanotubes are a much more versatile conductive agent offering good performance on all key parameters.
For polyester and vinyl-ester resins, TUBALL™ MATRIX 204 should be used
Pay close attention to the processing guidelines for TUBALL™ MATRIX 200-x and 300-x series
Or watch the processing guidelines video:
TUBALL™ MATRIX - Processing guidelines
Conductive gelcoats for safe and efficient fiberglass molds
New generation of conductive UP and EP formulations (Elmar Greiff, BÜFA Composite Systems)
Contact us to discuss your project specifications or to request a TUBALL™ MATRIX sample.