Improvement of scratch resistance

Scientists have demonstrated an improvement of scratch resistance in transparent hard surfaces through layer-by-layer coating.

Cracks in a coating.
Environmental stress cracking causes embrittlement in polymers due to a combination of plasticisation and swelling caused by moisture. Image source: geralt - Pixabay (symbol image).

To improve scratch resistance, scientists have prepared composites in which a polymer and montmorillonite (MMT) were alternately deposited on hard-coating surfaces. The alternating deposition of each layer was confirmed using the water contact angle and surface morphology. The resulting Layer-by-Layer-coated hard surface had excellent optical transparency of over 95 % in the entire visible region.

Superior scratch resistance

In addition, nanoindentation confirmed that the mechanical properties of the hard-coating surface were not considerably impaired even after the LbL coating. When the scratch creation characteristics were comparatively estimated using common mechanical analysis tools it was clearly noted that the MMT-coated surface exhibited superior scratch resistance, by >12 %, compared to other films in the dynamic-scratch test.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 170, September 2022.

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