New surfaces functionalities are the future

Categories: Innovation and trends in plastic materials, Plastics in the construction industry

The esthetic aspect, passage time, aging, atmospheric effects, all of them affects the surfaces of plastics and the surface of non-plastic materials used in the construction. 

Undoubtedly, according to the functionality of a piece, the surface is not the most important part, but it is the main entrance for external agents and they can affect to the integrity of materials.

Functionalities like self-cleaning, anti- anti- fingerprint, anti-bacterial, anti-fouling, scratch and abrasion resistance are very appreciated to increase the durability of the constructive elements, in general. Even, the most modern technologies of self-repairing systems for fractures and superficial scratches are a future niche market. All these new innovations or added functionalities normally imply nanotechnology applied to polymeric materials. And it is being worked on.

Further, as new technological challenges, we can be talking about intelligent systems, such as home automation floor tiles and facades which activate electronic system with a tactile contact, or intelligent windows which modify the pass of infrared radiation. It constitutes a one step further in the energetic efficiency.  Taking into account this energetic point of view, we can talk about new solar concentrators in functional pieces of facades or picture windows, energetic accumulators through esthetical piezoelectric elements, and even photovoltaic energetic cells – non-based on silicon- integrated as coatings, painting or varnishes on external surfaces.

Most of these solutions, copied from the true nature, from its own evolutionary processes, are part of the tendency known as biomimicry. And all of this is obtained by combining polymeric materials and nanotechnology. We will keep it under review.

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