What is NANO TECHNOLOGY?
The word “nano” has its roots in the greek “nanos”, meaning dwarf. It is the one thousand millionth part of one metre (0,000 000 001m). The relationship between a nanometre to a metre is the comparison of a hazelnut to the planet earth.
Though the word “nano“ has become somewhat of a buzzword in respect of advertising, it is in fact a synonym for the portal to a completely new world in which the dimensions of molecules and atoms play their parts. Nanotechnology is considered to be the key technology for the 21st century. Chemical nanotechnology concerns itself with the investigation, manufacture and uses of structures which are below 100 nanometres. The aim is to identify new characteristics of objects measured on the nano scale, to understand these (and their causes) and to transfer this knowledge into technical developments and (new) applications.
How nano particles react with each other
In the context of surface coatings, compare the size and behaviour of ordinary particles in traditional coatings to those that are Nano-sized. A nano particle is much smaller and collectively, the mass of nano particles has many more sides to adhere to the substrate. If you consider a cube has 6 faces, if that cube was halved it would have twice as many faces. Consider the Nano as the original cube being sectioned 1000 times. How many faces is that?
How nanoparticles make surfaces smoother
Here we see a traditional coating where the particles are actually too large to adhere to the majority of the substrate. Compare this with the nano coating which not only adheres better to the substrate but also to its own components. Because of this you can apply the nano coating more successfully and thinner than the non-nano coatings. One can also see that the finished result is a much tighter, thinner, stronger and smoother coating.
Coatings, as an example:
It is expected of coatings that they protect the material upon which they are applied against the effects of external forces and that they bond well with the material to which they are applied. In addition, dust and dirt and other foreign material should not stick to the surface. They should be easy to clean, resistant to chemicals and abrasion. They should have an excellent gloss finish and long-life properties. Which is the coated item below? (Hint – it’s the shiny one on the right)
Which of these pipes is nano-coated?
Some of these properties can be achieved by products which are based on organic solutions (high density and flexibility). Other properties, for example resistance to external forces or anti-corrosive properties – “easy-to-clean” properties (resistance to dust and dirt and simply cleaned) are in products based upon non-organic solutions. Conventional paints (Acrylic, Polyurethane and Plastic) are based on carbon combinations; that is to say on organic solutions. These are not as hard as coatings with non-organic bases such as glass. Non-organic materials such as glass are much harder – but they are also more brittle and less flexible than organic products.
Chemical nanotechnology solves this problem of conflict from the point of view of the user in that nanoscale formulations are composed of organic and non-organic base materials. This results in so-called „hybrid“ coating materials that are tailored to the specific requirements of the desired coating application.
Nanolia coatings are therefore especially flexible in their uses: their properties live up to the expectations and wishes of the user far better than coating systems based purely upon either organic or non-organic basis materials.
Nanolia Worldwide is flexible enough to adapt this hybrid formulation to suit any substrate and any application. Unlike many of our competitors, Nanolia Worldwide produce formulations specific to the intended substrate.
Nanolia coatings are based on silicon (Si) compositions (silane) together with catalysers and water. An intermediate product results and this is a thin-flowing and clear mixture, which is then heat- treated and condensed to a gel. During this “Sol-Gel” process, organic products are added, depending upon the specific requirements of the coating. As a basic rule, the higher the proportion of non-organic materials in the composition, the harder (but more brittle) is the coating system. The higher the organic proportion, the more flexible (but also less proof against abrasion) is the coating system. It is the great skill of our scientists and engineers that enables us to produce a product that fulfils the specific requirements, by the selection of suitable components to achieve the optimum balance between organic and non-organic base materials.
The SolGel Process
Following this process, dirt & liquids are unable to stick to or get into the surfaces so that they are repellent. This protection applies to various types of contaminants such as fungus, lichen, algae as well as moss that are prevented from adhering to treated surfaces.