Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AdheSurf (Polymeric nanocoating for tight and strong adhesion between challenging combinations of metals and plastics)
Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-05-31
The fundamental problem facing any applications containing plastic-metal bonding is that plastics and metals have inherently different chemical properties and most often very dissimilar surface energies. Achieving strong bonding between dissimilar material groups represent a major challenge. The available adhesives typically bond strongly to just one of the component materials but not to the other. In addition, adhesives often fail under extreme conditions or do not give the desired bonding properties, like tightness and lifetime. Or they are based on harmful chemicals that could potentially leach out.
RadiSurf’s AdheSurf project solves this key market gap. Our revolutionary technology, that we will bring into commercialization, utilizes polymer brushes to join metals and plastics together. Our unique nanoscale bonding technology creates a tight direct chemical bond between metal and plastic components without any harmful chemicals and potential environmental risks.
RadiSurf’s disruptive adhesion technology, works by first applying a nanometer-thin initiator, or activator, layer on the base material surface to create chemical bonds directly to surface molecules. Followed by growing polymer brushes from this activator layer through a groundbreaking polymerization technique (patent pending). Unprecedented, this entire process can be completed within 30 minutes under regular atmospheric conditions – and for the first time accessing this type of technology for economically viable and scalable production. The finished, coated metal components are remarkably stable, and can be stored for months before final assembly with the plastic part. While the entire process is expected to be easily integrated into a customer’s existing production line, the technology also allows for the option to separate the coating and the assembly processes. This is another advantage over traditional primers and adhesives, where the assembly needs to be executed within minutes or seconds after the adhesive is applied. Combined, this high-performance bonding technology based on disruptive use of polymer brushes has ideal capabilities for scaled-up commercial use.
Through a collaboration with more than 18 customers, we have made a series of feasibility tests and in general proven our technology all the way to the first small batch productions on the market.
Through the project, RadiSurf has tested and developed a sustainable business model, to bring a highly advance tailor-made bonding system to the market. By offering customers the premium service of tailoring the bonding system, from first initial test to a full-scale production. Our technology has been matured significantly and is ready to move towards scaling up.
High-end adhesives for design applications, appliances and consumer products, electronics & sensors, dental applications and certain composite material products will be the target segments for our first launching pads. These are only moderately regulated, which decrease the entry barriers facilitating the market penetration and generation of initial revenue. We have already established partnerships with companies in these segments and have validated promising value propositions for these customers.
Once we have established a solid foundation in these industries, RadiSurf aim to branch out into higher profit markets including the lucrative automotive, medical, food and beverage and offshore industries. We will face higher market barriers when penetrating these markets due to the stricter regulations and standardizations imposed to upkeep the safety and quality standards in these industries.
We believe, that this reaches far beyond adhesion between metal and plastic. Research has shown that polymer brushes are useful in many other applications, such as fricition control, bio-fouling control etc. The barrier to realizing many of these applications have been the lack of a scalable methodology to form these polymer brush structures outside the laboratory.
This will have a potential impact in a very broad range of industries and hopefully impact society in a very positive direction in terms of better and more sustainable use of materials in the future.