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Innovative nanotechnological coating materials

From its early synthesis until today, the potentialities of silicon have been continuously and extensively investigated and brought numerous advances in the field of industrial chemistry. Exploiting the valuable properties of silicon-based compounds, a German company has recently developed organic-inorganic hybrid polymers to be used as binders for coating materials. These high-tech coatings may be applied as layers a few micrometres thick on various bases, such as aluminium, magnesium and steel.
Innovative nanotechnological coating materials
This company is highly specialised in micro-technologies and has worked intensively on chemical processing of silicon alkoxides in order to obtain advanced material for coating purposes. More specifically, it was possible to develop organic polymer chains directly linked to the inorganic backbone of the siloxane structure. Compared to conventionally used pure organic polymer materials, they feature a remarkably higher stability due to the high bond energy of silicon-oxygen chains with organic side groups.

The hardened coatings have been extensively tested and displayed good adhesion to various substrates, especially aluminium, magnesium and steel. Furthermore, they formed extremely thin layers of the order of 4-8µm thickness for clear coatings and about 15µm for pigmented. Due to their three dimensional cross-linking corrosion protection, they act as diffusion barriers without any additional requirements on active corrosion protection pigments. Typical coatings of 5µm thickness exhibit salt spray resistance to aluminium surfaces without any needs of chromating post treatment procedures.

These innovative products may be used for surface protection against environmental and mechanical corrosion as for example single coatings on metallic paints. Their potential applications vary from coil coating, parts for automotive structure and protective layers of heat exchangers to diffusion barriers for heavy metal fittings or for polymer foils. They are particularly well suited for coatings of light-weighted materials, such as aluminium and magnesium that are expected to play a key role in future technological developments worldwide.
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