There is a constant effort among leading companies to identify ways to protect coatings from damage from the elements and from chipping, spotting or scratching.

PPG reports that NanoProducts’ nanoparticles-based coatings show excellent chip resistance, scratch resistance and superior sandability, with resistance to water spotting and acid etch.
Coatings are used in numerous applications. Coatings are applied to protect, enhance or decorate products such as glass, wood, metals, plastics, paper, fabrics, shoes, sunglasses, sporting goods, floors, furniture, cookware, appliances, medical devices, electronics and automobiles. Nevertheless, the coatings themselves, and the surfaces they are applied to, are subject to damage from environmental elements such as rain, snow, salts, acid precipitation, ultraviolet light and humidity. These coatings can also get scratched, chipped or otherwise damaged during manufacture, shipping or use. There is a constant effort among leading companies to identify ways to prevent such damage from the elements and from chipping, spotting or scratching.

While modest improvements have been made to coatings through conventional methods and materials, such efforts have yet to provide a compelling technological advance. Recent developments in nanotechnology are increasingly being evaluated and adopted to enable advanced coatings, as evidenced by the successful demonstration of such breakthroughs by PPG Industries using NanoProducts' PüreNanoTM family of nanoscale materials. PPG is the world's largest producer of transportation coatings and a leading global provider of industrial and packaging coatings, aircraft transparencies, flat and fabricated glass, specialty chemicals, and architectural coatings.

In U.S. Patent Applications 2003/0162876 and 2003/0162015 (August 2003, US Patent & Trademark Office), researchers from PPG confirm the useful characteristics of NanoProducts' complex silicon oxides and report successfully incorporating these nanoparticles in automotive coatings. They report that NanoProducts' nanoparticles-based coatings show excellent chip resistance, excellent scratch resistance (as well as retained scratch resistance after simulated weathering), outstanding appearance, sag resistance, superior sandability, and resistance to water spotting and acid etch. PPG explained, "typically, a harder, more highly crosslinked film may exhibit improved scratch resistance, but it is less flexible and more susceptible to chipping or thermal cracking; a softer, less-crosslinked film, while not prone to chipping or thermal cracking, is susceptible to scratching, water spotting and acid etch." Past attempts with fumed silica or colloidal silica have been unsuccessful in providing the breakthroughs desired. PPG reports that such breakthroughs are achievable with nanotechnology enabled by NanoProducts' nanoparticles.

The PPG report notes that the quality of aluminum silicate nanoparticles obtained from NanoProducts were confirmed by transmission electron microscopy analysis, had a refractive index of 1.519, were substantially spherical, colorless, free of surface hydroxyl groups, and did not agglomerate while the coating composition was being prepared even at high loadings. PPG also noted that, in addition to other benefits, the coatings prepared using NanoProducts' nanoparticles simultaneously showed:

  • excellent chip resistance under test method SAE J400;

  • excellent initial scratch resistance of the nanoparticle comprising coating as measured by Atlas AATCC Scratch Tester in combination with 3M 281Q abrasive paper; and

  • excellent retained scratch resistance after the coating had been subjected to weathering according to ASTM D 1499 64.
With nanoparticle and composition optimization, the coatings' gloss, haze and other performance characteristics can be further enhanced.

Dr. Tapesh Yadav, NanoProducts' founder and CEO, commented, "we have increasingly perfected our patented, commercial-scale process to produce nanoscale materials of a wide range of compositions. As demonstrated by the insightful work of PPG, leading companies are selecting and focusing on our nanoparticles to develop and commercialize superior coatings. While the PPG report focuses on automotive coatings, the PüreNanoTM family of nanoscale materials offers opportunities to significantly improve coatings in numerous other applications. We are seeing increased interest from various coatings, surface-treatment and resin-formulation companies in our successfully demonstrated and independently validated nanoscale particles, dispersions and related technologies. We expect coatings built upon our patented technologies and proprietary know-how to become a competitive advantage for market leaders, and enhance the consumer experience of a wide range of products. Beyond competitive advantage, nanotechnology breakthroughs are creating opportunities for cost savings and improved product life through thinner, yet more robust, coatings."

NanoProducts ( is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance nanoscale materials and related nanotechnology. Founded in 1994, NanoProducts offers over nine years of pioneering nanotechnology experience. Currently producing nanoscale materials in commercial quantities, NanoProducts owns 40 issued and allowed patents, with over 40 additional patents pending in the United States and worldwide. NanoProducts is a private company headquartered in Longmont, CO.

For further information, please call Liz Dohe at 970/535.0629.

Nano Bits

  • Nano is from the Greek word for "dwarf"; it indicates one-billionth of something.

  • Nanotechnology is the creation and use of objects at the nanoscale, up to 100 nanometers in size.

  • 1 nanometer (1nm) = 1/1,000,000,000 of a meter (close to 1/1,000,000,000 of a yard).

  • 1 human hair is ~50,000 nanometers across; or 50 nanometers is one-thousandth the width of a human hair.

  • 1 bacterial cell measures a few hundred nanometers across.

  • The smallest things seeable with the naked eye are 10,000 nanometers.

  • 1 nanometer = 10 hydrogen atoms in a line.

    U.S. Nanomaterials Demand to Reach $35 Billion in 2020

    After a decade-long buildup, nanotechnology is beginning to see its first commercial successes, although basic materials are grabbing the spotlight from more sensational early projections of cancer-killing nanobots and self-assembling automobiles. The development of nanoscale materials (i.e., substances with particle size between 1 and 100 nanometers) is a key step in the eventual production of more sophisticated nanomachines, nanoelectronics and nanomedical devices. In fact, the move toward nanotechnology is a continuation of ongoing miniaturization efforts in many industrial sectors. Research has flowed in two directions: reducing the size of existing manufacturing materials, such as metal oxides, through the use of new production technologies; and developing entirely new materials, such as nanotubes and buckyballs, that are intrinsically nanosized. These and other trends are presented in Nanomaterials, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc. (, a Cleveland-based industrial market-research firm.

    The U.S. market for nanomaterials, which totaled only $125 million in 2000, is expected to surpass $1 billion in 2007 and reach $35 billion by 2020. Early growth will come from numerous niche applications that span the entire U.S. manufacturing sector. These include wafer-polishing abrasives and high-density data-storage media for the electronics industry; improved diagnostic aids for the medical community; transparent sunscreens, stain-resistant pants and wear-resistant flooring for consumers; cost-cutting equipment coatings for the defense industry; fuel-saving components for the auto industry; and better paper and ink for the printing industry. In the long run, however, the best opportunities are expected in health care and electronics, which together are expected to comprise nearly two-thirds of the market by 2020.

    Conventional products, essentially smaller versions of existant products, such as silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide and clay, are expected to register robust growth both through the forecast period and beyond. Already, these materials have established a market presence in such applications as sunscreens and chemical mechanical polishing slurries. Conventional nanomaterials will account for the large majority of overall demand for the foreseeable future. However, new nanomaterials - many of which are yet to be commercialized - are expected to register even better growth, from a negligible base in 2002. Carbon nanotubes, the likely anchor product of the new materials category, are finding use now in specialty composites and in fluoropolymers.

    Worldwide Polymer Nanocomposites Market to Exceed $211 Million by 2008

    Mineral fillers, metals and fibers have been added to thermoplastics and thermosets for decades to form composites. Compared to neat resins, these composites have a number of improved properties including tensile strength, heat-distortion temperature and modulus. Thus, for structural applications, composites have become very popular and are sold in billion-pound quantities. These filled thermoplastics are even sold in larger volumes than neat thermoplastics. Furthermore, the volume of fillers sold is roughly equal to the volume of thermoplastic resin sold. More recently, advances in synthetic techniques and the ability to characterize materials readily on an atomic scale have led to an interest in nanometer-sized materials. These nanometer-sized grains, fibers and plates have dramatically increased surface area compared to their conventionally sized counterparts. Polymer nanocomposites (thermoplastics and thermosets) combine these two concepts of increased surface area and synergies between fillers and matrices.

    According to an updated report from Business Communications Company, Inc. (, RP-234 Polymer Nanocomposites: Nanoparticles, Nanoclays and Nanotubes, the total worldwide market for polymer nanocomposites reached 24.5 million pounds valued at $90.8 million in 2003. This market is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 18.4% to reach $211.1 million by 2008.

    Polymer nanocomposites have been making a large splash in the media and in many industries of late. Given all the interest in these materials, it is surprising to discover that it is difficult to find them in actual use. Most of the successes of nanocomposites have actually been rather low-profile, but they have rather steadily been impacting our modern lifestyle. Nearly every car produced in the United States since the late 1990s contains some carbon nanotubes blended into a nylon to protect against static electricity in the fuel system. Computer read/write heads are protected using ESD polymers, which contain nanotubes as well. In Europe, some buildings contain flame-retardant polymers with nanoclays mixed in, while Japanese automakers continue to use nanoclay-filled polymers for engine parts. Perhaps the most visible nanocomposite application involves GM's announcement that its 2004 Chevrolet Impala will have the first major exterior application of a nanoclay-filled TPO.

    Current volumes of thermoplastic and thermoset nanocomposites produced are roughly equal. By 2008, thermoplastics will constitute 77% of the volume market. The dollar value of thermoplastics is larger, because these are higher-valued added goods and are used in high-dollar, niche applications. Over the next five years, some of the long-touted applications of thermoplastic nanocomposites may come to fruition, which would lead to dramatic growth in these markets - in both dollars and volumes. Even if these new applications run into unexpected difficulties, these products will continue to expand into their existing markets at a strong rate of growth, exceeding 20% in some cases.

    While thermoset applications of nanocomposites are less diverse than thermoplastic applications, there have already been some successes with these materials. Thermoset nanocomposites are currently being used in prefinished wood flooring found in many residential homes. Nanocomposite thermosets will rise at an AAGR of 9.9% from $20 million in 2003 to $32 million in 2008.