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The Impact of Nano-Materials on Coating Technologies

R.H. Cayton and T. Sawitowski
Nanophase Technologies Corporation, US

Keywords:
nanoparticles, nanocomposite, abrasion resistance

Abstract:
Nanocomposite coatings are made by embedding nanocrystalline metal oxide particles in a polymer matrix. The benefits accrued by incorporating nanoparticles into a polymer matrix become economically driven when several advantageous properties are obtained simultaneously, compared with conventional materials, i.e., transparency with increased abrasion resistance and toughness. Nanophase Technologies Corporation (NTC) has an integrated family of commercially scaled technologies that are required elements of nanocomposite manufacturing. First, NTC manufactures commercial quantities of metal oxide nanoparticles by vapor phase plasma synthesis techniques. Second, NTC developed a variety of commercially scaled, proprietary technologies to modify the surface of nanocrystalline powders. Third, NTC developed commercially scaled processes to disperse the surface treated nanocrystalline powders into a range of fluids and organic resins used in the manufacture of nanocomposite coatings. In March of 2004, Nanophase formed an exclusive partnership with Altana, BYK-Chemie, to develop and market nanoparticles for use in coatings, inks, and plastics. In the subsequent eight months the partnership has commercialized three aluminum oxide-based nanoparticle additives for use in UV-curable coatings to reduce scratch and mar. The performance properties of these products will be presented, along with an overview other nanoparticle-based additives currently under development that are designed to meet specific needs in a variety of coating applications such as UV attenuation in clear-coats. Figure 1 depicts the improvement in gloss retention of a UV-curable coating after the incorporation or the nano-alumina product, NANOBYK3600. The improvement in scratch resistance is evident in the images shown in Figure 2 of the control and nano-alumina coatings.

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