Researches to improve the surface properties of materials by means of nanotechnology

Categories: Innovation and trends in plastic materials, Nanotechnology applications in the plastics industry

AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, coordinates currently the project Nanosurf, with the aim of developing improved coatings for plastic, ceramics, metal and glass, thanks to nanotechnology. Funded by the Valencian Centre of Business Competitiveness (IVACE) through the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) funds, have been coordinated by AIMPLAS the project counts on the participation of four centres associated to REDIT: the Ceramics Technology Institute (ITC), the Metal Mechanic Technology Institute (AIMME), the Technology Institute of Furniture, Wood and Packaging (AIDIMA) and the Textile Industry Research Association (AITEX).

According to the researchers involved in the project, nanotechnology applied to the modification of different surfaces constitutes a high-relevance tool, both currently and for the future. A large part of the properties pursued or the requirements demanded in a material depend mainly on the surface behaviour. Really innovative surface treatments currently exist, which allow a radical improvement of the properties of traditional materials and they also proportionate new functions which have never been used.

As a particular case, biomimetism, a highly-potential scientific-technological field that tries to apply the solutions founded by human beings through millions of years of evolution to traditional materials. The application of nanostructured surface technologies allows adapting many of these natural solutions.

Diversity of materials and application sectors

During the project development the treatments with a higher technological interest will be studied by nanomaterials with higher current technology interest, both for polymeric substrates and metallic, wooden, textile, ceramic or in glass substrates. The purpose of this collaboration between such horizontal sectors is to find and define common points, synergies and convergences between the different coating technologies and surface treatments.

As a consequence, as a previous stage to these treatments, it is important to detect the feasibility of surface activation methodologies that can be compatible between metals, woods, textiles, ceramic materials and polymers.

They are researches in line with a future trend, as it is the use of the so-called hybrid materials: materials whose properties are not those from traditional materials individually treated, but another material ones, with characteristics and properties derived from the synergies between them.

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