Nano Coatings, what are they and what are they for

A nano-coating is thin by definition. Achieving nano thickness coatings that are uniform and bond effectively is a technological challenge, while the unique qualities they can impart is the subject of substantial research effort.

In practice, a nano coating may be one nano particle thick or several, and it may either rest on that surface or be bonded into it. The point is that nano-coatings can have more useful characteristics than a thicker coating of the same material while consuming less of it, and therefore minimising costs.

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Nano coatings are finding countless applications, from car waxes to cell cultures. Their medical and laboratory applications include the production of filtration materials, medical garments, textile implants, and substrates that promote cell proliferation.

Nickel composites

In engineering, popular nano coating materials include several nickel composites. These substantially improve on the durability and corrosion resistance of uncoated surfaces. Nickel is naturally hard, chemically resists corrosion, and provides improved lubricity and non-stick characteristics. It can be applied to a wide range of materials including aluminium, titanium, copper, stainless steel and other ferrous alloys (see

Depending on the particular combination of materials and characteristics needed, properties are sometimes extended by a heat treatment after applying the coating. The temperatures used may range up to 400 degrees Celsius, but they don’t need to be applied for an extended period of time because of the thinness of the layer.

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In addition to metal surfaces, nano-coatings can be bonded onto other surface treatments like paint as a way of enhancing its gloss and scratch resistance, or to repel water.

The perfect car shine

A perfect shine has been described as “the Holy Grail of the automotive industry”. Old-style car waxes can be difficult to apply and buff, and they aren’t very long-lasting.

Many nano materials can be supplied as easy-to-apply liquid polymer coatings. This makes them easy to incorporate into car wax products. Several already boast that they contain ceramic nano particles for extra shine, scratch-resistance and durability. These coatings require next to no buffing and provide a hydrophobic surface that repels mud, slush and rain, according to reviews at

Most of these nano-materials are ceramics, such as silicon carbide. Larger particles would scour instead of protecting a paint job, but when suspended in a liquid polymer, they form a flexible surface with amazing properties.

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