Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NANOSCRATCH — Result In Brief

Project ID: 232100
Funded under: FP7-SME

Special molecules help coatings bind plastic

Novel coating materials and application processes significantly decrease scratching in common polymers, opening the door to previously inaccessible markets.
Special molecules help coatings bind plastic
Although plastics are integral materials in many devices, their limited scratch resistance compared to metals and glass prevents their use in a number of promising applications for the automotive, construction and furniture industries. Overcoming this barrier could make a significant difference in weight and costs for a wide range of products. Various technologies have been developed to meet the challenge but none have adequately solved the problem.

Novel coatings based on self-assembly molecules (SAMs) that adhere well to non-reactive polymers without altering their appearance may soon provide a solution. Scientists working on the EU-funded project NANOSCRATCH employed an oxidation step prior to coating to activate the polymer surface. Chemical functionalisation using SAMs facilitated a chemical bond between the plastic surface and the nanoparticles dispersed in water that were co-deposited with the SAMs. The technology was optimised for a number of different commonly used polymers. The team investigated various oxidation protocols and agents as well as different SAMs with combinations of reagents and solvents and various conditions of application and drying.

NANOSCRATCH successfully demonstrated a significant improvement in scratch resistance in commonly used polymers and important costs savings at the industrial scale. With eco-friendly deposition processes and a guide to best practices, scientists have opened the door to new markets for common plastics in a number of fields including but not limited to the automotive and electronics sectors.

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