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NOVACOAT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 5799
Funded under: FP6-SME

Nanocomposite tile coating

Replacing current high temperature tile manufacturing with low temperature coating technology would combine an environmentally sound method with novel decoration technologies. The hybrid products would offer manufacturers tools to produce truly unique products and thus increase their competitiveness.
Nanocomposite tile coating
Wall tile manufacturing usually entails coating with inorganic-based glaze that, however, requires high temperatures and often results in low abrasion and chemical resistance. Organic polymer coatings have been suggested as alternatives that could provide higher resilience coupled with novel decorative options.

To deliver a durable, low-temperature coating that would eventually replace the glaze layer in wall tile manufacturing, the EU-funded Novacoat consortium proposed to develop a nanocomposite coating.

A number of different hybrid compositions were tested, which however required further development to reach the commercially acceptable specifications for use in bathrooms and kitchens. Nonetheless, a new entirely water-based formulation for the Novacoat coating was developed, with chemical and mechanical properties similar to commercial organic-based coatings.

The project also explored new colouring and holographic effects that would complement decoration techniques while preserving the technical specifications acceptable for ceramic tile applications. The promising aesthetic results generated during the Novacoat project encouraged partners to continue the development of innovative solutions for decoration.

The consortium compared their hybrid coatings with two newly introduced coatings in the tile market in order to identify potential aspects for improvement. The results of this comparison revealed some of the weaknesses of commercially introduced products and emphasised the challenge to improve the durability of current hybrid coatings for tile applications.

The significant advances in understanding and exploiting new design possibilities of hybrid coatings provided the participating small enterpises with a competitive advantage. Also, through promotion of novel technologies the companies will be able to meet industrial requirements in the future.

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