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Coatings

The humble lotus leaf continues to inspire the scientific world 
 [Images: Flickr Creative...

Finding inspiration from nature in order to refine and advance modern technologies is nothing new; Mercedes’ bionic car was an interesting example and we’ve also seen a new ‘smart fabric’ based on the design of pine cones. Perhaps one of the most inspiring species, certainly in the plant world, is the lotus, which has already contributed to the development of fog-free windscreens and other surfaces along with improving the efficiency of solar cells. Now NASA is looking to the Lotus Leaf to develop a non-stick surface for use on spaceflight equipment.  Read More

An iron-centered nanoparticle (left) has a coating of the sugar dextran, whose tendrils pr...

Researchers believe nanoparticles hold the promise of battling cancer without the damaging side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment. They have discovered that coating minuscule balls of iron oxide with sugar molecules not only makes them particularly attractive to resource-hungry cancer cells, it also makes them more effective by allowing them to get close to each other, but not too close to render treatment ineffective.  Read More

A new polymer coating has been designed to protect historic buildings from graffiti while ...

Graffiti is not only ugly, it costs society millions of dollars to remove it. But graffiti on historic landmarks is worse because it often can't be removed using basic caustic solutions without damage to the underlying surface. Now a new, breathable coating could help preserve some of our most beautiful and priceless links to the past by providing them with an efficient, all-round protection against attacks by taggers.  Read More

The battery is produced by coating the algae with a thin layer of polypyrrole 
 (Images: G...

Algae blooms are unpleasant and unpredictable phenomena that arise quickly and strike seas and oceans, often causing serious problems to local ecosystems. But, in an effort to try and find a use for such algae, a research team from Uppsala University, Sweden, has recently managed to design a record-breaking "green" lightweight battery that is incredibly easy to produce and might just even out the environmental consequences of these blooms.  Read More

Scientists are studying better ways of creating touch screen coatings that resist glare an...

Big touch screens, like those used on smart phones and portable media devices, are great … unless the sun is out. Then the glare can be a killer, rendering some devices next to useless. Scientists have developed a test for analyzing reflection-resistant coatings to make using touch screen devices easier. The research also includes defining a better smudge-resistant coating to deter ugly fingerprints and scratches from screens and surfaces.  Read More

The nano-capsules in the electroplated layer contain a fluid that is released if the layer...

Human skin has an amazing capacity to heal itself from scratches and cuts, so it’s not surprising that scientists are looking at transferring the self-healing properties of skin to industrial materials. Efforts to embed tiny liquid-filled capsules that rupture when a scratch occurs to spill healing agents into the damaged area of electroplated coatings have previously been hampered by the size of these capsules. But now researchers have developed a process for producing electroplated layers with nano-capsules that measure only a few hundred nanometers in diameter that could solve the problem.  Read More

First-ever flexible ceramic heat shield material

Take note of the name ZircoFlex, because it will most likely, in our not-so-humble opinion, immediately become part of the lexicon and bag of tricks of every automotive, marine, aerospace and industrial manufacturer, fabricator, constructor, inventor and race engineer on the planet. We've previously written about Zircotec’s plasma sprayed ThermoHold coatings, which when applied to the surface of metallic and composite components can reduce surface temperatures by up to 33 percent. Until now, the process has had two major limitations being the need to treat parts directly using 14000ºK plasma sprays and the natural brittleness of ceramic coatings which has limited their use up to rigid substrates. Patent-pending ZircoFlex™ is a flexible ceramic heat shield material that will be available in a roll, offering a low-cost, easy-to-apply solution to the thermal protection of vital engine components. The product is set to revolutionise the use of ceramic materials for heat protection in a wide range of applications.  Read More

Images of electrochemically-deposited crystals from a scanning electron microscope

Six million dollars probably wouldn’t get you much of a bionic man these days, but a new process for coating metal implants could vastly improve the lives of the growing number of people who have undergone complicated total joint replacement surgeries. The new electrochemical process improves the implants’ functionality, longevity and integration into the body by producing a coating that is virtually indistinguishable from the body’s own material.  Read More

HIPS fire-proof coatings can withstand temperatures up to 1830°F (1000°C)

Even when lives aren’t lost, the property destruction wrought by fires can be heartbreaking. The coatings used in most buildings don’t help, tending to break down at relatively low temperatures and often producing toxic fumes or smoke. To tackle this issue, Australian researchers have come up with a new coating material that can be cheaply produced, applied as easily as paint, and yet withstands temperatures of up to 1830°F (1000°C).  Read More

New HEMPASIL X3 marine paint reduces fuel consumption

With vast numbers of ships traveling the world’s oceans daily and consuming large quantities of fossil fuels, it is not surprising that fleet owners would be focused on ways to reduce their fuel bills and carbon footprint. We've touched on the problem of higher fuel costs associated with ineffective marine paint in the past and it's these costs that the new HEMPASIL X3 package aims to address.  Read More

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