Coatings are applied to surfaces for environmental wear and tear, aesthetic appeal, insulation, or functional coatings. Because of their superior performance, they are used in automotive manufacturing, construction materials, medical applications, and other industries.
Dakenchem leads in high-performance functional coatings with properties tested for each application area. And their applications across industries will be covered in this comprehensive guide.
What is the functional coatings definition?
Functional coatings add specific properties to materials. These include corrosion resistance, thermal insulation, coloration, and gloss. They will protect, prolong, and add value to products in many industries.
Versatility and efficacy make them important. They allow for cost-effective material property enhancement without altering the base material. Many industrial processes require these coatings to improve performance, durability, and appearance.
In construction, these coatings are crucial. Environmentally exposed building materials need extra protection to last. Protection from UV radiation, moisture, and temperature fluctuations comes from functional coatings.
The building industry uses thermal insulation coatings to reduce heat transfer through walls, saving energy. Anti-corrosion coatings prevent rust and degradation on metal structures.
The coatings also enhance building aesthetics. The wide range of colors, finishes, and textures available in coatings allows architects and designers to achieve their desired visual effects.
Types of Functional Coatings
Thermal insulation coatings reduce heat transfer. Low thermal conductivity materials make them poor heat conductors. By creating a barrier on a structure’s surface, these coatings help maintain the desired temperature, saving energy. Construction, automotive, and aerospace industries use thermal insulation coatings due to this property.
ALD is used to apply these coatings. Sequential gas phase chemical processes are used in ALD thin-film deposition. Because of its precision, thin films of exact thickness can be made. This gives great control over the coating’s properties, making it ideal for coatings with specific properties.
Functional coatings also cover microchannel plates. Electron multipliers increase a system’s electron count. Functional coatings can improve these plates’ performance or capabilities. Coating the plate can increase its resistance to external factors, extending its lifespan.
Another application of functional coatings is photovoltaics. Many photovoltaic cells use functional coatings on light-absorbing materials. This coating protects the material from environmental damage and improves light absorption, increasing cell efficiency.
We conclude with lithium-based coatings. When making rechargeable batteries, these are used. Electrode coatings with lithium improve battery performance and lifespan. These coatings prevent dendrites, tiny, branch-like structures that can short circuit a battery, improving its safety and durability.
The Manufacturing Process
In the manufacturing process, the advanced equipment and technologies produce high-quality coatings at the facility. One can see multiple coating-specific production lines when entering the facility. Every batch of coating meets the highest performance and reliability standards due to strict quality control.
The substrate surface must be understood before applying the functional coating. The substrate’s roughness, porosity, and chemical composition affect coating adhesion and performance. To maximize coating adhesion and functionality, thorough surface preparation, such as cleaning, roughening, or priming, is necessary.
Function coatings are applied using VOC-free and hot-melt processes. The absence of volatile organic compounds, which harm humans and the environment, is called VOC-free. Water-based or high-solids coatings release few VOCs during application and curing.
But hot-melt processes use thermoplastic adhesives that are melted and applied to the substrate. These adhesives solidify when cooled, bonding to the substrate. Since it emits no harmful gases, this process is environmentally friendly.
Related Products and Applications
Common household and industrial items like adhesive tape are linked to functional coatings. Adhesive on tape is a functional coating. It bonds temporarily or permanently to various surfaces. Functional coatings are versatile, as this adhesive’s properties vary depending on the tape’s use.
Building sealants and caulk often contain functional coatings. These coatings increase the sealant’s UV and moisture resistance. This makes the seal stronger, protecting buildings from leaks and drafts.
Functional coatings beautify and protect structures. There are many colors, finishes, and textures of aesthetic coatings that can improve a building’s appearance. Also, protective coatings protect structures from weathering, corrosion, and UV radiation. Any structure becomes more attractive and durable with this combination of beauty and protection.
Screws and nuts wear out mechanically. Functional coatings can prolong and improve these elements. Coatings can prevent galling and rust on metal fasteners, while friction-reducing coatings make operation smoother. This increases fastener functionality and longevity, saving money over time.
The Future of Functional Coatings
Customized functional coatings may be the next big thing in coatings. They are a major advance, providing customized solutions for various applications.
Custom coatings can adjust hardness, chemical resistance, thermal conductivity, and aesthetics. Businesses and manufacturers can specify the coating properties they need for optimal performance.
For instance, outdoor equipment manufacturers may need a UV-resistant coating, while kitchen appliance manufacturers may want a food-safe, easy-to-clean coating. Customizable coatings can precisely meet these diverse needs.
Customization goes beyond coating functionality. It includes applying. And it can be customized to fit the customer’s applicator techniques and equipment, whether spraying, dipping, or otherwise.
Industry adaptability and efficiency have increased with customizable coatings. These coatings can deliver superior performance and cost-effectiveness by tailoring solutions to each application, making them a promising development for functional coatings.