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Sunday, 15 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Nanotechnology

Novel coatings combine protection with colour effects

Friday, 3 April 2015

New coloured protective coatings offer corrosion and wear protection and could for instance also be used as a warning colour on surfaces which can get very hot.

A protective coating for surfaces of ovens, chimneys or certain automotive parts could be coloured red for instance. Source: kids.4pictures/Fotolia

A protective coating for surfaces of ovens, chimneys or certain automotive parts could be coloured red for instance. Source: kids.4pictures/Fotolia

New coloured protective coatings offer the same corrosion and wear protection as colourless coatings while their colouration opens new opportunities. Red could for instance be used as a warning colour on surfaces which can get very hot.

Delivering additional visual information

"Incorporating coloured pigments in nanocomposites make coatings possible which are not only protective but also deliver additional visual information via their colouration,” explains Peter William de Oliveira, head of the IZI - Innovation Center INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials. A protective coating for surfaces of ovens, chimneys or certain automotive parts could be coloured red for instance. So such parts would not only be protected from corrosion, wear and oxidation but at the same time also be distinctive to the consumer by virtue of their colour.

To create a full red shade without brown content, researchers are currently working on ceramic particles with red pigments free from iron oxide. Chemical compounds previously used were not very suitable for such applications. "Organic compounds do make for very nice reds – but they are unsuitable for such protective coatings, since organics do not survive high temperatures,” explains the physicist de Oliveira, "Iron oxides do withstand high temperatures when used as colouring particles for reds, but do not give full reds.”

Pigments are incorporated in sol-gel nanocomposites

Black coloured coatings with a thickness of two to five micrometres can withstand temperatures up to 900 degrees Celsius, but also coatings with a reddish brown colour with resistance can endure up to 500 degrees Celsius. Researchers are also developing protective coatings using blue and green pigments. Current developments enable the use of these coloured glass-ceramic layers on metals and glasses. The pigments are incorporated in sol-gel nanocomposites and applied by dipping or spraying.

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