Nano-Science and Protective Coatings

June 7, 2010

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Nanotechnology is one of the latest buzz words in applied sciences these days. Also called “nanotech”, it is concerned with the study of matter and how to manipulate matter’s atomic and molecular composition. This is science at its tiniest, dealing with structures sized as small as possible and even in one dimension. The results of nanotechnology are appliances or materials that offer great benefits to mankind, despite their tiny size.

Because the principles of nanotechnology deal with any types of matter, its usability and applicability is wide-ranging. Some of the applications of nanotechnology are in medicine, electronics, energy/power generation, and even protective coatings used in construction. Nanotechnology has close to a thousand products currently in development or being manufactured. Passive nano-materials are being manufactured for use in cosmetics and the food industry. Carbon allotropes, on the other hand, are nano-materials being manufactured for clothing, food packaging, and appliances, among others. For surface and protective coatings used by the building industry, zinc oxide-based nano-materials are often used.

Protective coatings benefit from nano-technology particularly in the aspect of creating “surface functionalized nano-materials.” The nano-particles created, like dodecanethiol functionalized gold nano-particles, possess unique surface chemistries that can be manipulated or controlled. These particles make possible the process of organic packaging. The adhesion properties of these nano-particles can be changed. In nano-powder form, they can be dispersed to polymers and protective coatings. When combined with these materials and applied on target surfaces, the coated surfaces gain improved magnetic, dielectric and catalytic properties. These surfaces are more resistant to UV rays, corrosion, and other forms of damages.

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