Materials by Design - Tunable Coatings using Nanotechnology

Technology Overview

This technology presents a 'materials by design' approach to develop tunable coatings utilising functionalised nanoparticles. Coatings that incorporate these nanoparticles can be designed to impart optimised efficiency, optimised functionality, reduced corrosion, retention of appearance, improved fuel efficiency and improved airflow, and are applicable in various industries.

Technology Features & Specifications

This technology utilises the Stöber process to produce functionalised silica nanoparticles that have a very controlled and uniform size. Other attributes of the nanoparticles include:

  • Can be produced in a range of particle sizes depending on the requirement
  • The particles are present as primary particles not aggregates or agglomerates
  • They can react with silanes, silazanes and other reactive ligands (unlike other silica formulations)
  • The low water content of the suspension enables water sensitive ligands (so can be suspended in alcohol)
  • The particles are porous, and have larger surface areas than fully dense materials


One of the key applications of this technology is an anti-soiling coating which has demonstrated a combination of:

  • High water repellency: Water contact angle 105° (An 80° improvement compared to unmodified resin)
  • Excellent resistance to abrasion: 200 cycles Taber linear abrasion test using CS8 abrasive (Compared to 50 cycles with no additive)
  • Long life: No loss of repellency after 1000 hours of damp heat test at 85°C/85%RH (Equivalent to 25-year life)
  • Very high transparency

Potential Applications

Different coatings can be developed for the automotive, renewable energy, aviation / aerospace, telecommunications, marine, additive and construction sectors, across a wide range of applications. For example:

  • Anti-soiling, hydrophobic and durable coatings for the renewables sector (including utility-scale solar and BIPV)
  • Anti-icing coatings for the aerospace, automotive and marine industries

Market Trends and Opportunities

There are currently few (if any) coatings in the market that are able to be manipulated depending on the need. As an example, there are many hydrophobic coatings available but few of them retain durability over time, and therefore require re-application. This 'materials by design' approach allows ‘tunable’ coatings for customers’ requirements, meaning each solution is developed to provide optimum efficiency regardless of its application.

Customer Benefits

  • Lowers operation and maintenance costs
  • Reduces cost of ownership

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