In 2007, environmentally conscious consumers turned to “green” products in every facet of their lives. Tips on “being green” and products to buy were everywhere – online, being reported on in broadcast news, incorporated into TV shows, and in magazines and newspapers. Home builders and suppliers began to look inward to find ways to make homes more energy efficient.
In 2008, the landscape continues to change. With the environmental crisis now at the forefront of the public’s consciousness, traditional solutions to saving energy are not enough. Companies are investing in technologies that not only improve but can transform the environmental equation. On a more basic level, consumers and business owners are savvier than ever about what it truly means to be green and they are looking for solutions with maximum impact. They are also highly informed about which green products bring the most value. Consequently, they are seeking products that accomplish multiple objectives at a cost-effective solution. Enter green nanotech into the home building and industrial landscape – particularly in coatings.
Green NanotechGreen nanotech offers dramatic solutions that maximize the results and the bottom line for the environmentally conscious home and business owner. Even the EPA has come full circle on the value of nanotechnology for the environment. In 2007, the EPA issued an internal recommendation to steward next-generation nanotech companies that support green building and green chemistry and seek new, more powerful solutions to the environmental crisis. But what is green nanotechnology and why do the latest advancements in the field make the science of it so compelling for the coatings industry?
As someone who is immersed in the science of nanotechnology everyday, I definitely understand nanotechnology’s allure: Nanotechnology is the manipulation of cell and atomic structure in materials that are no larger than a billionth of a meter in size. The fundamental competitive advantage in the burgeoning field of nanotechnology is the ability to create entirely new processes or materials from the bottom up with tremendous results. In the case of Industrial Nanotech, we have created paint-like coatings that can dramatically conserve energy; coatings that can reduce the need to heat your home in sub-zero winter; paint that can cool your house during a heat wave, coatings that can boost your car’s performance, or offer your pipe work advanced corrosion protection. This is science fiction, which has now become science fact, and it is also what makes Industrial Nanotech’s coatings tick.
Particle Design ApproachMost nanotechnology works with particles smaller than one billionth of a meter. However, that is where Industrial Nanotech’s particle design approach differs scientifically in the nanotech marketplace. At Industrial Nanotech, we knew we wanted to create a family-friendly coating that was easy to apply, that would help conserve energy and the environment, and would also be effective against dangerous mold and lead poisoning. In order to do that, we began using safe micron-sized (rather than nano-sized) particles with nanoscale architecture. This methodology enabled us to create coatings with all the advantages of nanotechnology and none of the drawbacks. However, that was just one part of the equation. We still needed a polymer coating that the nanocomposite could be mixed with without destroying it. The result was combined – a specific category of nanocomposites and a variety of secondary “carrier” components. The materials have unique and valuable characteristics including, among others, very low thermal conductivity, very high corrosion resistance and exceptional durability. Moreover, it is joining these two processes that finally made the development of the Nansulate® line of coatings possible.
NansulateEssentially, Industrial Nanotech’s Nansulate product line consists of eight project-specific coatings for home and commercial purposes: Nansulate HomeProtect and a primer, NanoPrime™, can be used to provide thermal insulation for home interiors and exteriors. They also act as advanced mold inhibitors and, unlike most products on the market, are free of any potentially harmful FDA-registered microbials. Nansulate EPX™ is specially designed to insulate oil and gas pipelines, preventing valuable fuels from freezing during transport. Nansulate PT, for metal surfaces, can be utilized in oil and gas, biodiesel, agriculture, and commercial freight applications, among others. Nansulate GP, which is NSF International registered for incidental food contact, can be used on appliances in the food and beverage industries, wineries, commercial restaurants, for pharmaceutical and trucking applications, particularly in insulating refrigeration units. Nansulate HH (High Heat) has a range of uses – from reducing heat injuries to providing anti-corrosive properties for processing equipment, tanks, machinery, dryer heads and textile-related equipment, such as heat exchangers and dyeing machines. Nanoboost™, used by NASCAR racing teams, is an ultrathin industrial-grade automotive coating, designed to increase the horsepower of a car and simultaneously reduce its fuel consumption. Finally, Nansulate LDX offers advanced protection from lead and is a great lead remediation product.
TestimonialsOne of the most common usages of Nansulate is in the residential area for home insulation and energy conservation. Where space considerations limit effective insulation treatments, Nansulate not only insulates but can drastically reduce energy costs of heating and cooling a residential structure. Such was the case with Roy Kortick, an artist in New York, who wanted to remodel his bungalow-style house. He re-roofed the home and added a skylight and ridge vents, creating a “cathedral ceiling” and sleeping storage loft. Kotrick sheathed the inside roof rafters with furniture-grade birch plywood and sealed it with translucent Nansulate GP. This allowed him to maintain maximum ventilation for the roof and the beauty of the birch wood grain – as opposed to the foam air channel attachment were he to have used traditional pink insulation. He was also pleased with the coating’s ability to insulate. “I witnessed the insulation’s effects just last night. Despite the cold conditions on Long Island, I was able to maintain an inside temperature of 68 °F with only a small woodstove. The boiler never turned on and it was set at 65 °F,” explains Kotrick.
Another homeowner, Marc Izzard in New Mexico, was looking for a way to insulate his home with an environmentally friendly product that would also save on energy use. The issues of energy conservation and green building were very important to him and his family. The Izzards used Nansulate Translucent GP and Top Coat to coat the home’s interior walls and ceilings. According to Izzard, he has realized a significant savings in energy costs as well as reduced time for the home to cool off in the summer and heat-up in the winter. “We are really pleased with the 40% savings in energy costs and the swiftness at which the house cools off and heats up. We also coated the claw foot tub with it so the water stays hotter longer,” said Izzard. “You can heat my home with a votive candle and a blow dryer now with the nanotech coating on it.”
Other Nansulate customers have also reported between 20 - 40% energy savings, dependent upon each individual application. Thermal conductivity, k, is the intensive property of a material that indicates its ability to conduct heat. The lower the thermal conductivity number, the better the insulator. Hydro-NM-Oxide, the insulating component in Nansulate has a thermal conductivity of 0.017 W/mK. When fully cured, Nansulate contains approximately 70% Hydro-NM-Oxide and 30% acrylic resin and performance additive. To test energy savings, we take two identical wooden boxes with incandescent lamps and thermocouples inside. One box was coated with three coats of Nansulate GP on all surfaces inside and outside. At an ambient temperature of 82.4 °F (28 °C), both heating elements were switched on and temperatures vs. time were noted. The Nansulate-coated box reached 158 °F (70 °C) in 24 minutes, whereas the un-insulated box reached the same temperature in 41 minutes. The heating time of the Nansulate-coated box overalls seemed to have halved. The resulting energy savings from this test was 20%.
SummaryThese are just a few examples of environmentally conscious homeowners, not to mention the numerous businesses that are applying green nanotech to their lives and businesses. As we continue to search for solutions, green nanotech may prove to be the undiscovered country of answers to the world’s environmental ills. In 2008 and beyond, green nanotech coatings will continue to make a difference as new technologies become more and more accessible and known.
For more information, visit www.nansulate.com or www.industrial-nanotech.com; call 239/254.0863; or e-mail email@example.com.