The Science Behind Our Graphene Matrix™ Technology
What is Graphene?
Graphene is graphite (Carbon) that has been processed to construct a one atom thick layer. This one atom thick layer is made up of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice pattern that forms a nearly transparent sheet with some incredible properties. At a molecular level, it is 200 times stronger than steel, yet six times lighter and flexible.
to put things in perspective
*Graphene is so thin that turned sideways it would be virtually invisible*
How is a Graphene Coating made?
GRAPHENE – CHEMICALLY INERT (ON ITS OWN, NOT USABLE IN A FUNCTIONAL COATING)
You must be thinking… “Graphene sounds amazing!! Why doesn't everyone just put graphene on their cars?”
Graphene on its own cannot form a coating, it is chemically inert and non-reactive so it must be processed in a very specific way that can enable it to form a coating that can adhere it to a finish. 1
OK THEN, how do you make graphene into a coating?
We “oxidize” it! Through our chemical manufacturing process, we refine Graphene into a product called “Graphene Oxide”.
Remember the Zinc Oxide your mom used to make you wear in the summertime? It’s sorta like that. It's a substance known as a “Metal Oxide” that essentially means we bond oxygen molecules, hydroxy molecules and other elements to it (This is a very important step).
GRAPHENE OXIDE (GO) – ADDING OXYGEN TO THE GRAPHENE
This Graphene Oxide (GO) is now a one atom thick layer of carbon atoms, but we’re not done yet.
We take this Graphene Oxide and further refine it, removing impurities and adding on more molecules that we can then use to attach to a vehicles finish.
REDUCED GRAPHENE OXIDE (rGO) – TAKING AWAY ATOMS TO MAKE IT USABLE IN A COATING
Now that we have a specially designed reduced Graphene Oxide (rGO) with just the right atoms added and removed. We now have a monomer (Single) layer with the right attachments we can use to then fasten it to a finish.
See all of those beautiful little Hydroxy molecules attached to it? We use those like velcro to stick it onto your paint, wheels, glass, plastics etc. with some incredible results!
1: Eftekhari, A.; Garcia, H. (2017). "The Necessity of Structural Irregularities for the Chemical Applications of Graphene". Materials Today Chemistry. 4: 1–16. doi:10.1016/j.mtchem.2017.02.003.
Ceramic Vs. Graphene
How does it compare to a ceramic?
“Ceramic” is a term thrown around the detailing word that has become synonymous with sio2, but it is also used on a much broader scale. Ceramic at its simplest definition refers to Inorganic based chemistry. This would then mean other chemistries such as waxes, some polymers and sealants would relate to Organic or Carbon based formulations. With Ceramic based chemistries primarily comprised of Sio2, Tio2 or Silicon Carbide.
Graphene Matrix is a carbon based coating utilizing a reduced Graphene Oxide structure with additional elements built upon it to enable it to be bonded to a surface. This by definition would not classify it as a ceramic coating but instead better categorized as a “hybrid” coating, with both organic and inorganic chemistries utilized in its composition to enable it to be bonded onto a surface.
To put it simply Ceramic relates to Silica based technologies with Graphene related to Carbon based chemistries. They’re both houses but both are built upon entirely different foundations.
Is it just a ceramic coating with graphene added?
This is a question that has received quite a bit of speculation publicly. Graphene Coatings are an evolution on ceramic coatings in the sense that we utilize oxidative and inorganic chemistries taken from ceramics in order to bond an inert, non-reactive Graphene layer onto a substrate. From the start Graphite (Carbon) is formulated, refined and processed to form a reduced graphene oxide coating that is workable and useful. Some inorganic based molecules are attached onto the oxides of this lattice to accompany bonding to a substrate. From the start, this is an entirely different fundamental chemistry to a ceramic coating. Graphene Coatings can be viewed as fundamentally modified carbon, with Ceramic Coatings fundamentally modified Silicon. Although close on the periodic table, they’re two entirely different substances.
LESS HYDROXY MOLECULES = Less reactory sites ie. Less water spotting/contamination
Ceramic coatings are metal oxides of Silica (also known as Silica Dioxide “sio2”) that are processed to create oxidative elements to attach themselves onto a substrate (A similar technique used to formulate our rGO attachments). Adding a graphene powder, or graphene oxide ALONE to a Ceramic based coating completely skips the most important reaction that is VITAL to utilizing the benefits of a Graphene based chemistry. Even a Graphene Oxide on its own will not bond to a substrate, it needs precise adjustments done in complex reactors to make it a viable and useful element.
Adding Graphene Oxide to a Ceramic Coating would cause no behavioral changes to the coating and thus no relative chemical bondings of the graphene structure to the substrate. The speculation that this is a marketing angle would be accurate if this was how our technology worked, which if it was the case would save us alot of time, effort and money having to forgo expensive reactors and processing to make these molecule structures possible.
MORE HYDROXY MOLECULES = more reactory sites ie. more prone to water spots/contamination
Why can i use ceramic based maintenance products on graphene based coatings?
When formulating Graphene Matrix it was important to us that new technologies would not exclude previous chemistries from being useful. This would mean an entire re-formulation of our line up and unnecessary expenditure from our customers to adjust their products to follow suit.
Thankfully, Graphene was the next logical evolution from Silica as they share many features and similarities, thus their close relationship to one another on the periodic table. This enables us to build upon ceramic based chemistries and allows us to further develop our Graphene chemistries to be able to accept silica based technologies in return. They are brother and sisters that get along very well together on a molecular level and thus work very well together when using ceramic based chemistries to maintain our Graphene based coating.
Expectations of Graphene
What should i expect?
With Graphene Matrix you should expect an incredibly high performing coating that is on the upper 99 percentile of gloss, with extremely high durability and incredible hydrophobic functions relating to very, very easy maintenance and cleaning.
Because Graphene atoms share such a strong attraction to one another, these attributes distill down to create a coating that provides increased durability to abrasion, which in term promotes better adhesion to many different substrates (Paint, glass, metal, plastic etc.) as well as increased longevity. This is truly a one-size-fits-all coating that can create incredible performance regardless of the application. There are no need for specialized coatings for wheels or glass, or hydrophobic “Top Coatings” to achieve incredible results.
Maintenance is very easy due to the coatings increased resistance to chemicals, representing a higher resistance to water spot etching, bird droppings, environmental contamination and much more.
Cleaning is easier due to an extremely high water contact angle and lowered sheer angle that creates a self cleaning effect that removes contaminants and debris with ease. Contaminants have a much harder time sticking to the surface due to Graphene’s natural ability to create a uniform coating with less impurities for materials to cling to.
High water contact angle correlates to bigger, tighter beading that roll off the surface pulling debris and contamination along with it. Washing is easier and takes less time and effort.
WATER CONTACT ANGLES
Due to Graphene’s unique chemical properties, we are able to create a coating with a high activity level (High level of active coating ingredients vs. Solvents) that doesn't correlate to a more difficult installation. One achilles heel of ceramic based chemistries in which it is not possible to increase activity level while reducing effort of installation.
What should I not expect?
You should not expect any Graphene coating to provide a completely scratch proof, etch proof, water spot proof, contamination proof coating on any surface. These coatings are impressive feats of technology but do not reward neglect, abuse or carelessness.
They will create stunning reflections, a surface that is noticeably easier to clean and ongoing compliments from friends and family. This is a semi-permanent coating treatment and once installed will yield ongoing, tangible results and further reward ongoing and consistent cleanings and maintenance.
Its an investment into your vehicle and an investment into yourself, for those who want the best protection and easiest maintenance moving forward there is no better option than Graphene Matrix.
WHAT IS GRAPHENE?
Graphene was discovered in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester, who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for their research on the material.
Graphene is an allotrope ((structurally different forms of the same element)) of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in two-dimensional honeycomb lattice.
WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CERAMIC COATINGS AND GRAPHENE?
Most ceramic coatings on the market are comprised of Sio2 (Silicone Dioxide) which is commonly referred to as Silica, also known as sand or glass. Graphene was discovered in 2004 and won a nobel prize in 2010 due to its incredible attributes which have shown to be 100X stronger than steel while remaining flexible and not breaking.
Graphene Matrix utilizes this innovative technology to make a formula that takes ceramic coatings to the next level. Making them easier to apply while providing additional benefits and results.
Graphene Coatings are an evolution on the tried and true Ceramic Coating and are applied in a very similar manner while reducing some of the risks and potential downsides.
HOW DO I MAINTAIN THE GRAPHENE COATING?
Graphene Matrix can be maintained with any pH neutral wash soap or waterless cleaner. We do recommend using our Ceramic Shampoo as it is designed specifically to both clean and condition the coatings finish to preserve the astonishingly high gloss and water repellency effects. For a topper or in between washes you can use our Detail Spray which is safe on any coating or for even more performance apply Ethos Defy for increased gloss, shine and protection between washes.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CERAMIC WAX PRO AND GRAPHENE. CAN YOU COMBO THESE?
Graphene Matrix is a professional strength coating and is designed to work on its own. You would not want to pair it with Ceramic Wax Pro as they are different chemistries. Graphene requires more prep work and a slightly more attentive installation than Ceramic Wax PRO but provides a much more durable and long lasting result. Ceramic Wax is for those that want the easiest application possible with minimal work required.
IS GRAPHENE MATRIX SAFE FOR PPF/CLEAR BRA?
Yes! In fact we recommend applying Graphene Matrix on top of any brand of PPF due to its protective and enhancement abilities. Because Graphene Matrix offers a flexible membrane it will not inhibits PPF's ability to self heal or resist impacts from road debris. In addition, it will add a noticeably glossy and slick finish that is completely sealed from the elements, reducing the risk of premature aging or yellowing.
CAN GRAPHENE BE PUT ON OVER ETHOS CERAMIC OR DOES IT HAVE TO BE STRIPPED?
Graphene requires that the paint is completely free and clear of any contaminants or other forms of protection. Its chemistry is designed to work directly with the surface and shed anything on top of it so it would be a stand alone solution.
HOW MUCH GRAPHENE DO I NEED TO COAT MY VEHICLE?
CAN GRAPHENE MATRIX COATING BE LAYERED?
Yes it can! In fact we recommend applying 2 layers for maximum performance and longevity. 2 layers ensure that there are no uneven or low spots in the coating and that the surface has been properly covered.
There is no added benefit to applying more than 2 coats to any surface.
If opting to layer the coating, wait 1 hour minimum between the 1st and 2nd coat.
How do I prepare the surface for applying Graphene Matrix?
1. Clean any loose dust, dirt and contaminants from the surface.
2. Clay bar any rough embedded contaminants from the surface to ensure no impurities interfere with the coatings properties.
3. Polish/Compound to remove any paint defects in the form of scratches, swirl marks and oxidation. Graphene Matrix is a semi permanent coating so once applied any defects will remain sealed underneath.
4. Deep clean any polish oils or residues from the surface that could inhibit the bonding process using Ethos Detox.
5. Remove any residual water that can be hiding underneath panel gaps, headlights or taillights which could drip out and affect the coatings curing process
CAN GRAPHENE BE APPLIED TO MY WHEELS?
Yes! Graphene Matrix works incredible well on wheels due to its high heat repellency and chemical repellency. To apply graphene Matrix to your wheels checkout our video here:
CAN I APPLY GRAPHENE MATRIX ON TOP OF MY COATED CAR?
Unfortunately not, since Graphene cannot be installed on top of any other coatings, waxes or sealants it cant be used to top additional protection. If your car already has a coating, wax or sealant we recommend performing all of the preparation steps as outlined in our instructions here.
How does Graphene hold up against water spotting?
One achilles heal of Ceramic Coatings has been their incidence of water spotting, this is due to their silica nature being prone to hard water contamination.
Graphene Matrix has shown great resistance to water spot etching (not water spotting) as we have seen a reduction of water spot etching up to 80-95%:
Water Spotting that occurs from a light rain storm is unavoidable due to waters natural surfactant properties. As water dries on a surface and collects contaminants it will leave behind residual “water spots”. Water spot etching is caused by water spots that etch into the top layers of the clear coat and leave marks that cannot be removed with cleaning.
DOES THIS PRODUCT NEED TO BE INSTALLED PROFESSIONALLY?
One of the greatest things about our Graphene Matrix technology is that you can apply it without needing any professional tools or experience. Simply follow the instructions included with each package and you can achieve fantastic results from the comfort of your own home.
WHATS THE CURE TIME?
The full cure time of Graphene Matrix is about 5 days. This means that we do not recommend washing your vehicle or using any cleaners until this period is completed.
Your vehicle is safe to drive immediately but we do recommend avoiding water for the first 48 hours.