The material's hydrophobic and conductive properties may help prevent corrosion, repelling water and stunting electro-chemical reactions that transform iron into iron oxide, or rust, Banerjee said.
UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR) has submitted a provisional patent application to protect the coating Banerjee and Dennis are refining. As sponsors of the research and due to inventive contribution by Tata employees, Tata Steel also has certain rights to the technology.
"Tata Steel has always displayed leadership in motivating innovative research and product development by leveraging partnerships with universities. UB has been one of our choices for cutting-edge coatings technology development on steel substrate," said Debashish Bhattacharjee, PhD, Tata Steel's group director for Research, Development and Technology.
"The development of an environmentally friendly alternative to hexavalent chromium would truly revolutionize this sector," said Anahita Williamson, PhD, director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I), a research and technology transfer center funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. "The metals plating industry identified this as a high-priority research project and NYSP2I is excited to support UB researchers in their efforts to develop solutions."
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, headquartered at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), is a partnership between RIT, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, UB and the state's network of Regional Technology Development Centers.
Banerjee, a materials chemist, has worked closely with industry and STOR to commercialize his research since joining UB in 2007.
In addition to his work on graphene, Banerjee has spoken to
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University at Buffalo