The Impact of Nano-Materials on Coating Technologies
During the past several years, advances in nanomaterials have allowed them to be formulated into numerous applications. The majority of these applications sought performance improvements that were previously unobtainable. Examples of such applications containing nanomaterials that have been commercialized include: scratch/abrasion resistant transparent coatings, sunscreen lotions to provide visible transparent UV protection, polishing slurries to provide pristine surfaces for optics, and environmental catalysts to reduce pollution. The quest for improved scratch/abrasion resistant coatings is an on going project for many coating formulators. Thousands of scratch resistant coating applications are present in our everyday lives, including coatings for wood floors, safety glasses, electronic displays, automotive finishes, and polycarbonate panels. Improving the mar, scratch and/or abrasion in these transparent coating applications is a major challenge, particularly with regard to not affecting the other performance attributes of the coating.