nCoat, Inc. has released information on three development projects currently in testing that are exploring the efficacy and performance of nanoscale coating (surface treatment materials) developed at the company. The testing was done by potential customers at nCoat facilities. Internally, nCoat projects are administered by nTech, Inc., and the coatings are applied by High Performance Coatings, Inc. (HPC), two wholly owned subsidiaries of nCoat.

Working with customers, nCoat and its subsidiaries are focused on developing engineered coating solutions to meet and exceed increasingly high performance materials specifications. Through nTech, nCoat develops nanoscale coating products principally focused on the following key aspects:
  • Continued improvements to proprietary binding and dispersion formulas
  • Continued research and testing of the solids in coatings for new, enhanced or new alternate functionality when applied to multiple substrates
  • Improvement of materials and processes to further exploit binding interactions between coatings source materials and between the coating and the substrate
  • Testing new uses for the high density, low porosity nano formulations
  • Development and testing of new methods to create uniform sized nanoparticles
For the past several months, nTech has been working with an aerospace company with the objective of reducing the weight of exhaust system components to achieve increased payload and fuel capacity. The design solution called for ceramic matrix composites exposed to high-temperature degradation risks while operating with sufficient tensile strength to maintain operational requirements. The use of nanotechnology provided a new, previously unknown solution by introducing the nano-formulated coating as a binding agent within the ceramic matrix. The primary benefit is created as the nanocoating penetrates deeper and more evenly in binding the materials. An added benefit to the mix is that the nanocoating simultaneously provides thermal barrier functionality to the composite deriving previously unachievable performance. A secondary benefit results as nanoscaled materials penetrate so deeply and evenly that the temperatures required to cure the ceramic matrix composite are reduced from 1,800-2,100°F to 650°F, representing a significant savings in the overall cost to manufacture the composite material.

A second challenge from the aerospace sector was the protection of substrate structural material in extreme temperature conditions against the unacceptable risks of thermal oxidation. Testing was performed for NASA involving thermal barrier coatings designed to enable the fuselage of spacecraft to endure exposure to 4,200°F for a period during orbital re-entry. The resulting incorporation of a formulated nanocoating increased the duration of protection by 78 times previous testing - from 10 seconds to 13+ minutes.

A third nTech project focused on preventing rotor blade abrasion. Various industry coatings were tested on the edge of blades at high speeds to confirm protection against abrasion from rainfall. A standard rotor blade rain erosion test set tip speed at 632 feet per second, drenched the blades in simulated rainfall at a rate of 3 in. per hour and defined failure as erosion of the coating until an unbroken line of bare metal was exposed at the blade edge. Within 10-15 minutes, the industry-standard micron particulate coatings tested reached the failure point. The same test using nCoat's nano-formulated product reportedly did not fail through the entire duration of a 60-minute test. The tests demonstrated a performance increase for the nTech coating by a factor of up to six times over conventional coatings.

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