Nanocoatings are routinely applied to a wide variety of substrate materials (plastics, glass, metals, ceramics and textiles). Due to the properties inherent at the nanoscale, the coatings are typically multifunctional, exhibiting one or combinations of the following properties: scratch and abrasion resistance, anti-static, oleophobic, easy-to-clean, anti-reflective, anti-microbial activity, sensor and catalytic activity. They are mainly used for the prevention of soiling (incrustation/clogging; protein adhesion/cell adhesion; biofilm formation); aging/degradation; and friction/wear. Markets include:
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- Medical (Short term disposables and Long-term reusables)
- Food manufacturing
- Textiles/ leather
- Marine Coatings
- Water treatment
- Public places
- Automotive/ Transport
Nanocoatings are opening up new market opportunities in the global coatings arena. Properties such as corrosion resistance, flame retardancy, UV stability, gloss retention and chemical and mechanical properties are improved significantly using nanomaterials. Anti-fingerprint, anti-bacterial, anti-fouling and easy-to-clean, and self-cleaning nanocoatings offer enormous potential for new applications in various sectors. The overall coatings market is still recovering from the 2008 economic decline; however anti-fingerprint and anti-bacterial nanocoatings especially are continuing to grow faster than the overall coatings market, most notably in Asia-Pacific, the largest current market for paints and coatings. Growing markets are in nanocoatings for touch panels, household surfaces and indoor air quality and medical devices and equipment.
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The need for coating manufacturers to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations while improving function is also also aiding growth. There is therefore a growing opportunity for upstream suppliers who can provide innovative nanotechnology coatings solutions and there are growth opportunities for coatings manufacturers that partner with technology providers that offer multiple solutions afforded by the nanoscale. Nanocoatings are likely to replace traditional coatings in the medium to long-term in end use segments such as packaging, anti-microbial coatings, architectural coatings, industrial manufacturing, marine, wood, auto refinish, transportation and protective coatings.
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