Materials science constantly helps the world of industrial and specialty coatings to advance. Over the last decade, researchers have had some remarkable breakthroughs in developing new types of coatings and even entirely new materials through innovative technologies.
Nanocoatings are among the most exciting breakthroughs to arise from those developments.
What Are Nanocoatings?
By definition, a nanocoating is one where the layer applied to the substrate is measurable at the nanoscale. That is, the material is around 100 nanometers. By comparison, a human hair is more than 75,000 nanometers in diameter. A tiny ant is five million nanometers long!
As materials approach the nanoscale, their familiar properties change in unexpected ways. The introduction of nanotechnology in the industrial coating world will produce entirely new opportunities to control corrosion, abrasion, and other hazards costing billions to remediate annually.
No matter how wide a coating is, if its thickness is lower than a few hundred nanometers, it is a nanocoating. Exploration of the properties of nanocoatings is ongoing in areas including aerospace, defense, healthcare, and energy.
Nanocoatings take the form of optically transparent polymer films. They are invisible to the naked eye and almost undetectable to the touch, being just a few atoms thick. Today, consumers come in contact with them most frequently in automotive bodywork.
However, nanocoatings don’t just put a nice new face on your substrate.
Nanocoatings have been developed with antibacterial, anti-corrosion, abrasion resistant, and weather resistant properties. Although much remains to be discovered, an increasing number of nanocoatings are available for today’s industrial and commercial businesses.
Key Benefits of Nanocoating for Demanding Work Environments
Although it is a new and innovative idea, nanocoating will soon be familiar to facilities managers in all kinds of settings. Nanocoatings deliver a variety of powerful advantages compared to traditional coatings. Like standard coatings, however, they can be formulated to emphasize particular performance characteristics or work more effectively on a certain substrate type.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of nanocoatings:
1. Useful for Porous and Non-Porous Surfaces
Protecting industrial surfaces often means treating them to make them less porous. Lower porosity defends surfaces against moisture intrusion and makes it easier to strengthen them against corrosion, especially rust and salt attack. Because nanocoatings are so small, they can be used on conventional porous surfaces and those that have already been treated in the past.
2. Microscopic Uniformity Means Dirt Repellant
Nanocoatings are capable of delivering a level of uniformity for treated substrates above and beyond anything else on the market. By occupying the tiny pores in a surface, an appropriately applied nanocoating can make materials almost entirely impervious to dirt. A quick wipe down with a cloth can restore many treated surfaces to “like new” appearance and function.
3. Extraordinary Hydrophobia and Weather Resistance
Nanocoatings are extremely water repellant. In fact, many nanocoatings were first developed and tested for high performance vehicles. The same ability to prevent pooling and water damage that makes them attractive on the race track is also effective in an industrial setting.
4. Chemical, Oil, and Salt Resistance
Harsh and corrosive chemicals may be used daily in industrial workplaces. Many industrial and commercial sites situated near the waterfront also need to be protected from salt attack. The proper nanocoating can substantially raise resistance to these factors.
5. Ultraviolet Resistance
Ultraviolet radiation is a major contributor to weathering of outdoor facilities and equipment. A nanocoating filters out some ultraviolet light and prevents it from reaching the surface. Still, a purpose-made anti-UV coating remains superior in this regard.
6. Extreme Durability and Longevity
Nanocoatings can be formulated for extreme hardness. The hardest coatings are rated nine on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Only harder materials on the scale can scratch any surface. In this case, a diamond is the only entry that rates a ten on the scale and can damage the coating.
7. Wide-Ranging Temperature-Proofing
Nanocoatings are more temperature resistant than standard paint coatings. Temperature resistant formulations provide protection in excess of -50°F. A nanocoating can also be optimized for extreme heat.
Advanced Coatings For Industrial Projects
Nanocoatings are becoming more visible in the consumer market. However, commercial and industrial nanocoatings require care in application. It is important to review your needs with professional painting contractors to ensure a particular nanocoating is right for you.
In the right situation, nanocoatings can provide protection far greater than the norm even in the most exacting industries. We're helping enterprises in Jacksonville and Tampa to access these technologies as they become available.
Our experienced team strives to deliver unparalleled expertise in cutting edge industrial applications. We are continuing our tradition of pioneering technologies by introducing nanocoatings to our projects.