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Coatings


— Science

“Hydrate-phobic” surface coatings to keep oil and gas pipes flowing

By - April 11, 2012 1 Picture
As the world’s appetite for oil and gas continues to increase while access to easily accessible reserves decreases, deep-sea oil and gas wells are being positioned in ever-deeper waters. The dangers and difficulties faced in such operations were highlighted in 2010 with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While placing a containment dome over a leak and piping the oil to a surface storage vessel had worked on leaks in shallower water, the attempt to do the same on the Deepwater Horizon’s largest leak failed when the formation of methane hydrate crystals blocked the opening at the top of the dome. Now researchers at MIT have developed surface coatings that can inhibit the buildup of these methane hydrates and keep the gas and oil flowing. Read More
— Automotive

Anti-stick coating reduces F1 downforce losses

By - March 22, 2012 9 Pictures
In the last two years, UK coatings specialist Zircotec has helped 10 of the 12 Formula One teams to protect their composite diffusers from exhaust gasses via the use of ceramic coatings. To do so, it created a coating that allows composites to function in temperatures above their melting point! This year, its engineers have been busy on a new challenge, as debris from tires has been causing build-up on aerodynamic surfaces which has been reducing down-force. Read More

Graphene could find use as world's thinnest anti-corrosion coating

It seems like the uses for graphene just won’t stop coming. The ultra-strong sheet material, made from bonded carbon atoms, has so far shown promise for use in transistors, computer chips, DNA sequencing, and batteries ... just to name a few possibilities. Now, scientists have discovered that it can also be used as a very effective anti-corrosion coating – and at just one atom in thickness, it’s thinner than any of the alternatives. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Liquipel nanocoating adds invisible waterproof coating to mobile devices

By - January 12, 2012 2 Pictures
We all know that water and mobile electronic devices aren’t a good mix. But living on a world whose surface is around 70 percent water can sometimes make it hard to keep the two separate. While wrapping your device in a waterproof case will provide protection, they add bulk and can sometimes affect usability. California-based company Liquipel claims to have developed a hydrophobic nanocoating one thousand times thinner than a human hair that can be applied to a smartphone to protect it from accidental spills without affecting its functionality. Read More
— Science

Floating weed inspires high-tech waterproof coating

By - November 14, 2011 4 Pictures
It may be an invasive weed that’s fouling waterways in the U.S., Australia and other countries, but it turns out that Salvinia molesta has at least one good point – it’s inspired a man-made coating that could help ships stay afloat. The upper surface of the floating plant’s leaves are coated with tiny water-repellent hairs, each of which is topped with a bizarre eggbeater-like structure. These hairs trap a layer of air against the leaf, reducing friction and providing buoyancy, while the eggbeaters grab slightly at the surrounding water, providing stability. Scientists at Ohio State University have successfully replicated these hairs in plastic, creating a buoyant coating that is described as being like “a microscopic shag carpet.” Read More
— Science

NASA's new super-black nanotube-based material is good news for star-gazers

By - November 9, 2011 2 Pictures
When it comes to gathering measurements of objects so distant in the universe that they can no longer be seen in visible light, the smallest amount of stray light can play havoc with the sensitive detectors and other instrument components used by astronomers. Currently, instrument developers use black paint on baffles and other components to help prevent stray light ricocheting off surfaces, but the paint absorbs only 90 percent of the light that strikes it. NASA engineers have now developed a nanotech-based coating that absorbs on average more than 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that hits it, making it promising for a variety of space- and Earth-bound applications. Read More
— Environment

Diamond-like carbon-coated plows to save fuel by sliding through the soil

By - July 26, 2011 2 Pictures
Plows are one of the most basic agricultural implements and have been in use for thousands of years. In that time they’ve evolved from simple ox-drawn scratch plows consisting of a frame holding a vertical wooden stick dragged through the topsoil – which are still used in many parts of the world – to tractor-mounted plows that can have as many as 18 moldboards. The evolution of the humble plow looks set to continue with Fraunhofer scientists working on diamond-like carbon (DLC)-coated plowshares that would slide through the soil like a hot knife through butter, thereby requiring less fuel. Read More
— Electronics

Graphene coating harvests energy from flowing water

By - July 19, 2011 1 Picture
Hydroelectricity is the most widely used form of renewable energy, supplying around 20 percent of the world’s electricity in 2006, which accounted for about 88 percent of electricity from renewable sources. Now researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to harvest energy from flowing water using a nanoengineered graphene coating. The new technology only produces small amounts of electricity so isn’t aimed at large scale electricity production, but rather at self-powered microsensors to be used in oil exploration. Read More
— Science

Permanent spray-on antibacterial coating created

By - July 6, 2011 2 Pictures
A University of Georgia chemist has invented something that should be a boon to both hospital staff and athletes ... a permanent spray-on antibacterial polymer coating. It can be applied to natural and synthetic materials – just once – and even after repeated washings, will continue to kill a wide range of bacteria, yeasts and molds. In health care settings, it could be used on textiles such as lab coats, scrub suits, uniforms, gowns, gloves and linens, to protect patients from infections. It could also be used on athletic wear, along with shoes, socks, undergarments, and just about anything else that tends to get germy. Read More
— Science

New coatings could protect jet engines from volcanic ash

By - April 14, 2011 2 Pictures
Following last April’s historic eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, commercial flights were cancelled within most of Europe for several days – it was the largest disruption of air travel since the Second World War. Well, while no one is suggesting that airliners could now merrily fly right through clouds of ash, researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) have developed a coating that they say could allow jet engines to better withstand small amounts of volcanic ash that are ingested over time. Read More
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