What is a Ceramic Coating?
At its very basic level, a ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid material comprising metal, nonmetal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. The crystallinity of ceramic materials can range from highly oriented to semi-crystalline and often completely amorphous as in the case of glass. With such a large range of possible options for the composition and structure of a ceramic, the subject is vast.
The earliest ceramics were made of clay, either used by itself or mixed with other materials like silica and then hardened or sintered, by fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, colored surfaces, with decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates.
In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced engineering applications, such as semiconductors.
These materials are often referred to as “advanced ceramics” and may be composed of silicon carbide, tungsten carbide, chrome oxide, titanium dioxide, alumina-titania oxide, alumina oxide, zirconium oxide, magnesium zirconium oxide and others.
Typically, these advanced ceramic materials require specialized application methods for deposition such as; oxygen acetylene powder deposition, detonation guns, plasma spray and chemical vapor deposition.
It is therefore only suitable for limited applications, although some lower grade ceramic coating find use on such surfaces as pots and pans. These coatings do provide high-temperature performance but do not attain the properties of “advanced ceramics.”
Still, these consumer grade ceramic coatings require specialized equipment for application and “firing.”
When you get beyond “old time” ceramics of clay and the “advanced ceramics,” definitions get really confusing. Some manufacturers offer products called ceramic coatings but are actually ceramic particles, in the form of powders or spheres, that are incorporated into a non-ceramic polymer binder.
With such a binder, the coating can be applied by traditional methods such as spraying, wiping, and dipping. Coatings can be air or oven cured. The ceramic “filler” offers physical and chemical improvements to the coating, perhaps substantially but it is hard to say it is a true ceramic coating.
The non-ceramic polymer, primarily comprised of C-C bonds, does not have the temperature performance of a true ceramic. Some of these types of coatings may even use nanoscale (<100 nanometers) ceramic particles and then call the material a nano-ceramic coating.
NanoSlic Ceramic Coatings
NanoSlic coatings use a primary binder polymer that is ceramic, that is, primarily composed of an inorganic material. NanoSlic is largely composed of silica, structured with silica bonds. As such, NanoSlic materials are inherently capable of maintaining properties at temperatures well beyond non-ceramic polymers.
NanoSlic coatings are resistant to most solvents and will be unaffected by a wide range in pH. Because 9H hardness is achieved in most NanoSlic formulations.
By incorporating specific functional groups to the polymer, various properties can be achieved including ambient temperature curing, heat-induced crosslinking and other physical properties.
Interesting and useful surface effects can be achieved such as NanoSlic’s characteristic hydrophobicity and oleophobicity. Low surface energy and ceramic structure make NanoSlic a unique nanocoating.
NanoSlic is a revolutionary coating technology that offers many of the benefits of “advanced ceramics” but does not require a high cost, multi-step process that includes “firing.”
NanoSlic can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces. The required thickness of the coating will depend on the application and the desired result. Generally, the coating thickness with 1 – 4 microns (μ.) Traditional coatings are typically applied applied 50 microns or greater.
So, if NanoSlic is only 1-4 microns or 1000-4000 nanometers, why is the prefix nano?
Well, the hydrophobic/oleophobic effect on the surface is the result of manipulating the surface at the nanoscale level.
NanoSlic protects and enhances surfaces of metals, glass, ceramics, polymers and coatings and many plastics. It is scratch resistant and creates a surface that is easy to clean.