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Anti-Scratch Coating For Polymers

Polymeric materials are one of the most important industrial products in use today. However, there is one significant limitation with most industrial polymers: the difficulty of coating polymers to provide additional capabilities such as improved scratch resistance. Our technology chemically attaches a ceramic or other layer to polymers. In the lab, we attached zirconia nanoparticles to poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). Basically, the nanoparticles were chemically “grown” on top of the polymeric surface, creating a “ceramic” surface with a much higher wear resistance.

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) images showed that the thickness of the coating is of the order of 130 nm. In addition, the coating is 99.9% transparent as determined by using a laser turbidimeter. The results from a standard ASTM (500 series) wear test demonstrate an improvement (as determined by comparing weight loss) of over 55% between the coated and uncoated surfaces.

The linked overview contains additional information on the benefits of this technology.