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Once-a-decade paint: Norfolk manufacturer infuses paint with hardest substance known to man

PUBLISHED: 13:25 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 15 July 2019

Graphenstone UK team at the new Graphene paint factory. L-Rt: Matt Lewis, Patrick Folkes, Sally Lovett, Ben Sturges, Mihaela Cazacu, Sarah Haswell. Picture: Graphenstone UK

Graphenstone UK team at the new Graphene paint factory. L-Rt: Matt Lewis, Patrick Folkes, Sally Lovett, Ben Sturges, Mihaela Cazacu, Sarah Haswell. Picture: Graphenstone UK

Graphenstone UK

The face of Norfolk's streets are due for a facelift as paint infused with the hardest material known to man is being produced in the region.

Harleston-based Graphenstone is producing the first commercially available grapheme-infused paint which can be used on residential and commercial properties.

Graphene is derived from carbon, and is 200 times stronger than steel but around six times lighter.

As a result, the paint is incredibly durable as well as having eco-friendly benefits.

Ben Sturges, business development manager at Graphenstone, said: "The paint is based on graphene and lime. The graphene makes the paint extremely strong, and the lime is porous, so it can breathe.

"This means the paint is far less likely to crack or weather, and will give a long lasting protection and colour to walls. But, if a bus drives into the wall, it won't bounce off it."

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As a result, the paint absorbs carbon dioxide and is also free of toxins and chemicals.

"This paint is natural and totally sustainable so homeowners can do their bit for the environment," he added.

"It's also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal too, so it creates a more hygienic environment whilst reducing allergens."

Mr Sturges predicts that walls painted in Graphenstone will only need to be repainted around once a decade: "unless they faced a significant impact or collision, of course."

Graphene is also being used further afield with Richard Branson announcing he intends to make grapheme-coated planes.

"Anyone can buy that paint," said Mr Sturges. "We've already seen buildings using the paint; university halls of residence, historical buildings, ultra-sustainable passive houses, traditional Welsh cottages, and increasingly you can see it in being used on houses across the East of England, we've just seen it used on a home in Hartest."

The paint is being manufactured in a new factory which was opened in February, and cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. 
As a result, the team of four staff in the factory can produce 1,800 litres a week of the graphene-infused solution.

Director of the Graphene Company, Patrick Folkes, said: "We expect rapidly increasing demand from professional contractors and retail residential customers over the next two years, as they start to do their bit to combat climate change."

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