Recently, the use of graphene as a conductive nanofiller in the preparation of inorganic/polymer nanocomposites has attracted increasing interest in the aerospace field. The reason for this is the possibility of overcoming problems strictly connected to the aircraft structures, such as electrical conductivity and thus lightning strike protection. In addition, graphene is an ideal candidate to enhance the anti-corrosion properties of the resin, since it absorbs most of the light and provides hydrophobicity for repelling water. An important aspect of these multifunctional materials is that all these improvements can be realized even at very low filler loadings in the polymer matrix. In this work, graphene nanoflakes were incorporated into a water-based epoxy resin, and then the hybrid coating was applied to Al 2024-T3 samples. The addition of graphene considerably improved some physical properties of the hybrid coating as demonstrated by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) analysis, ameliorating anti-corrosion performances of raw material. DSC measurements and Cross-cut Test showed that graphene did not affect the curing process or the adhesion properties. Moreover, an increment of water contact angle was displayed.
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