Nanotechnology products are increasing in number, as hundreds of manufacturers across all industries use nanotechnology in their product designs. Their participation in this nano-revolution of sorts benefits the end consumers, who now have more innovative products to choose from, and in nearly all types of applications — food, cosmetics, clothing, appliances, and yes, even protective coatings.

The technology to control matter at its molecular level has immense potential. Here are some of them:

1. Nanotechnology applications are diverse and cut across all industries.

2. New materials with nano-scale dimensions can be created.

3. Nano-materials are now applied in areas of medicine, electronics, energy production, construction industry, protective coatings industry, to name a few.

Although nanotechnology is very promising, there are advocacy groups who are raising concerns over its adoption and use. Their concerns are summarized in the following:

1. Environmental impact of nano-material production and use

2. Toxicity of these new materials

3. Economic effect of the technology

Such concerns have raised the possibility of regulating the use of nano-materials, as well as a risk analysis as to its real impact to the world.

In the area of protective coatings, zinc oxide is used to create the nano-materials for surface protective coatings, paints and finishes. The nano-materials fall in the surface functionalized nano-particle category, where the surface chemistry can be controlled to change the behavior of the surface. With nanotechnology, the surface structure can be re-ordered to increase many properties, such as its adhesion, resistance, and corrosion properties. Furthermore, some surfaces can be imbued with IV-absorbing as well as anti-bacterial and antibiotic properties, which is not present in ordinary painted surfaces.

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