Just when you thought the materials industry was starting to slow down, you run across another really cool innovation. Ecology Coatings (Akron, Ohio) has announced that DuPont will be licensing its nanotechnology coating system. I love the way Ecology Coatings refers to its products. They produce curable liquids that are 100% solids! Sounds like a marketing term, right? Right. But here are the features: fast-drying (3 seconds vs. twenty minutes), no evaporation and/or fumes, no need for solvents and/or carriers. In addition, UV curing consumes about 75% less energy than heat-based drying schemes. In short, this stuff is far more environmentally friendly than traditional industrial coatings.
The potential applications are numerous. DuPont is envisioning the product for use in automobile finishes. Other companies are considering licensing the coating as a screen to apply to other materials. For example, Nano-Tex (a competitor) uses their coatings to prevent socks from absorbing foot odor. Other applications include rain-repellant (or bullet resistant) cloth.
This stuff is pretty cool. And it’s important to note that DuPont is the company that brought us Teflon coating. They know about how to market coatings for an incredible diversity of applications. Indeed, DuPont has been a pioneer for nanotechnology on the future battlefield. I wonder just how much it will cost!