Protecting Substrates from Mechanical and Aesthetic Damage using Self-Healing Nanocomposite Polymeric-based coatings

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Solution from NEI Corporation
About NEI Corporation


With coatings, materials, utilized for various consumer and industrial applications, can enhance their appearance and obtain protection from damages caused by weathering (for instance, acid rain and UV light), mechanical wear and corrosion. Typical coatings applied are waxes, sealers, stains, paints and other chemical treatments. However, in due course, this protective layer weakens and experiences microscopic damage. This, in turn, leads to heavy damage or eventual failure, which needs recoating or replacement.

Solution from NEI Corporation

NEI Corporation, with the support from the US Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program, has created self-healing nanocomposite polymeric–based coatings capable of healing both surface scratches and mesoscopic damage such as cavitation and micro-cracks. The use of polymer coatings imparts two key functions to the underlying substrate. One is the aesthetic function that provides a good appearance to the substrate, and second is the protective function that protects the substrate from mechanical and chemical damage.

NEI’s self-healing technology is generic and is useful in a myriad of polymer systems, especially those systems that demand retaining a clear glossy appearance. Self-healing is a two-step process involving gap closure and subsequent healing. The heating of the coating surface with a simple device like a heat gun achieves simultaneous crack closing and sealing.


Nanomyte MEND is a broader self-healing technology platform from NEI that can be applied to impart self-healing properties to polymer coatings. Nanomyte MEND-MW is one of the solutions from Nanomyte MEND. Nanomyte MEND-MW is a waterborne self-healing, clearcoat technology that provides a durable finish on various substrates, including wood, plastics and metals (Figure 1). The self-healing function provides a high degree of gloss recovery and scratch repair, even in repeatedly damaged areas.

Figure 1. NEI’s coating thickness and self-healing capabilities on various substrates

Routine use leads to surface scratches and micro-cracks, which eventually result in macroscopic damage. In addition, the coating loses its aesthetic and protective functions. Corrosion protection coatings on metals need to be especially intolerant to crack formation because the underlying metal will be exposed to corrosive environments when cracks are present on the coatings. This, in turn, shortens the service life.

Waterborne, UV-curable, and high solids chemistries are increasingly gaining interest over solvent-based coatings, particularly in consumer applications. The Nanomyte MEND coating technology platform offers a novel self-healing functionality in addition to other coating properties, including chemical resistance, ductility, hardness and gloss. The production process for Nanomyte MEND employs traditional polymer and materials processing.

NEI’s patented coatings increase longevity by repairing themselves during the application of heat. This approach completely eliminates minor surface scratches and closes up relatively deep cracks. The coatings enable multiple healings, optimizing service life and minimizing cost and environmental impact from waste and emissions. NANOMYTE TC-1001 self-healing coating on a metal substrate is illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2. NANOMYTE TC-1001 self-healing coating on a metal substrate

The nanocomposite coating’s self-healing ability is partially owing to the morphology of the polymer coating and can be applied over other application-specific polymer systems to impart self-healing capability. The self-healing coating retains the finish of the original painted surface, increases the service life of the structure on which it is applied, and minimizes end user costs by reducing the requirement for repairing and recoating damaged surfaces. It is advantageous to both OEMs and end users.


NEI makes available Nanomyte MEND samples for testing by end users. In addition, the company offers product development services to render specific self-healing polymers.

About NEI Corporation

NEI Corporation is an application driven company that utilizes nanotechnology to develop and produce advanced materials. The company’s core competencies are in synthesizing nanoscale materials and prototyping products that incorporate the advanced materials. Founded in 1997, we manufacture and sell advanced materials products, provide materials development services, and perform contract-based R&D for public and private entities. NEI has built a strong manufacturing and R&D infrastructure that enables rapid transition of concepts to products.

NEI’s products are sold under the registered trademark: NANOMYTE®

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by NEI Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit NEI Corporation.


  1. Robert Cumberbatch Robert Cumberbatch bb says:

    Do you offer samples?

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