Coatings Covered

Hayley Everett

In light of continuing demand for improved part performance, protection, and sustainability within industrial applications, we round up the latest innovations in the coatings sector.

Coatings play a vital role in helping engineers meet the dual challenges of improving the performance characteristics and durability of components and addressing sustainability challenges. Demand for new restoration and repair techniques for high-value parts in industries such as aerospace, power and oil and gas is also continuing to grow, and as new applications arise from recent technological advances, such as those in the e-mobility sector, the development of innovative coating methods and materials is paramount. Here’s a look at some of the recent advances from the coatings sector aiming to meet these requirements.

Single-Layer Anticorrosion

Industrial coatings manufacturer Axalta has launched a new single-layer solution for Flame Spray coating technology, Abcite 2060. Engineered to offer exceptional anticorrosion protection without the need for a coating line, the technology can be applied by depositing semi-molten polymer particles onto a heated surface which then fuse to the surface to form a comprehensive polymer coating.

Abcite 2060 is suitable for use on large metal structures that are exposed to a variety of demanding environments. The coating is designed to protect surfaces from adverse weather conditions by creating an impermeable barrier which mitigates the degradation of materials and subsequently the associated impact of unplanned repair work.

Specially designed for highly corrosive environments, the one-layer system eliminates the need for a primer while offering full compliance with the ISO 12944-6/-9 standard for galvanised and grit-blasted steel. Abcite 2060 is also resistant to several other factors that compromise surface material performance, including the presence of alkalines and acids, condensation, UV exposure and abrasions.

Alongside its anticorrosion protection benefits, the coating is engineered to provide excellent edge and corner coverage while availability in a range of colours offers an aesthetic appearance to metal parts.

Enhanced EV Battery Protection

The performance of current and future electric vehicles (EVs) is highly dependent on the performance of the battery and associated systems within. Battery performance can be impacted by its surrounding environment, however, and so protection against corrosion and excellent insulation is needed to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Chemicals company Akzonobel has launched a new range of Resicoat EV powder coatings to protect the battery system and electrical components of a new generation of EVs. The Resicoat EV range consists of five product lines specifically designed to improve the safety and performance of EVs, each featuring superior electrical insulating properties and enhanced thermal management capabilities.

The new range of powder coatings includes the Resicoat EVpack, which delivers a range of protective properties for the battery pack and housing to insulate electrical systems, and the Resicoat EVcell, which provides excellent cell-to-cell electrical insulation for intricate designs. The Resicoat EVcooling coating, meanwhile, is designed to deliver superior performance in thermal conductivity, electrical insulation, edge coverage and consistent film building in cooling tube and plate applications.

The range also features Resicoat EVbusbar which coats the busbars that carry and distribute electricity in order to improve heat dissipation and support a lower fire load with a longer lifetime during thermal impact. Rounding off the range is Resicoat EVmotor, which is designed to protect the electric motor with epoxy powder solutions specifically designed for the electrical insulation of hairpin stators.

Each of the product ranges within the Resicoat EV line are tested and approved to UL 94 V-0, which permits vehicle systems to tolerate a certain level of exposure to a flame without igniting. The range is also tested and approved to UL746B and UL1446, meaning they can resist thermal degradation and damage that can occur at elevated temperatures.

Controlling Composite Microstructures

Elsewhere, research, technology and engineering consultancy TWI has developed an electroless nickel-phosphorus plating (ENP) composite coating for demanding geothermal applications. ENP coatings are deployed within a broad range of industries, including aerospace, oil and gas, geothermal, and electronics, due to its exceptional mechanical and tribological properties.

The coating’s high hardness, wear and corrosion resistance properties can be turned by controlling the microstructure of the material to tailor its alloy chemistry. Properties can be further enhanced by post-plating heat treatment and the incorporation of nanoparticles to improve hydrophobicity, hardness, and wear resistance with low coefficient of friction (CTE).

TWI has developed the capability to produce EN coatings for applications requiring such properties through incorporating PTFE nanoparticles homogeneously in nickel-phosphorous based coatings. Bespoke surface modification solutions can also be achieved by optimising the coating performance through ENP coating deposition, characterisation, and testing.

The new ENP coatings are currently being deployed as part of TWI’s participation in ongoing geothermal related research projects such as Geo-Coat, Geo-Drill, and Geohex, which have each received funding by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.