Maintaining Transparency and Gloss on Plastic Substrates with Scratch and Abrasion-Resistant Coatings

Topics Covered

NEI’s Hardcoat Product Lines
     NANOMYTE Hardcoat SR-100
     NANOMYTE Hardcoat UV-100
About NEI Corporation


Scratching and scuffing of molded components with a high gloss finish, and transparent plastics like acrylic and polycarbonate, leads to transparency lose during routine use and maintenance. NANOMYTE Hardcoat offered by NEI Corporation meets the requirement for scratch and abrasion-resistant coatings on plastic substrates, which are required in a myriad of applications, including airplane windows, automobile, ophthalmic and sportswear lenses.


Besides providing superior scratch resistance, NANOMYTE Hardcoat also exhibits high resistance to chemicals, remaining unaffected during brief exposure to common industrial and household chemicals, which can adversely affect bare plastic surfaces. The hardcoat provides better protection to sensitive polymers like polycarbonate from solvent attack.

NANOMYTE Hardcoat is composed of an innovative, water-based formulation, which is safer to work with and more eco-friendly when compared to conventional solvent-based coating systems. NEI’s patent-pending coating chemistry allows for the addition of an unlimited amount of excess water into the coating formulation. Hence, the coating solution can be freely diluted to obtain the desired results.

In addition, NANOMYTE Hardcoat offers greater convenience, enabling applications under ambient conditions devoid of the implementation of rigorous environmental controls normally used in commercial hardcoating processes. Besides a long shelf life, this coating solution exhibits good adhesion to many different substrates and imparts corrosion protection, antireflection, anti-fouling, anti-fogging, and UV protection functionalities in addition to superior hardness and scratch resistance. The features and benefits of NANOMYTE Hardcoat are listed as below:

Water-based formulation Not sensitive to moisture, environmentally friendly and suitable for use on many different substrates
Two year shelf life (at room temperature) Decreases the requirement to frequently replace coating solutions and minimizes waste
Clear and transparent coating solution Highly transparent coating; tinting is possible
Strong adhesion Durable coating with a long lifetime
Easy application Affordable for large volume applications

NEI’s Hardcoat Product Lines

NEI offers two grades of NANOMYTE Hardcoat, namely Hardcoat SR-100 and Hardcoat UV-100.

NANOMYTE Hardcoat SR-100

SR-100 is an all-purpose coating solution, which provides superior solvent, chemical and scratch resistance for plastic substrates. Since it is a liquid, SR-100 can be applied with most standard coating methods, including web, roll, flow, spin, spray and dip coating. Based on the substrate’s surface chemistry, the coating is applied either directly onto clean surfaces or subsequent to a priming step. The coated surface is then thermally cured typically at around =100°C.

SR-100 creates a ceramic-like hard surface that is demanded in many different consumer and industrial applications.

Figure 1. Coated polycarbonate plates after 1000 cycles of Taber abrasion testing (ASTM D1044, 500g load, CS-10F wheel)

Uncoated acrylic and polycarbonate turn out to be extremely hazy in appearance when subjected to standardized ASTM D1044 abrasion testing, with a measured haze value of 25%-35% (ΔHaze). The application of commercially available hard coatings on these materials can typically decrease the ΔHaze value to 2%-6%, which is still quite visible. In comparison, NANOMYTE Hardcoat SR-100 shows improved abrasion resistance results in ASTM D1044 abrasion testing, with ΔHaze values typically below 1% (Figure 1). The comparison of PMMA plate with uncoated side and coated side after testing is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. PMMA plate with uncoated side (left) and coated side (right) after testing

NANOMYTE Hardcoat UV-100

NANOMYTE Hardcoat UV-100 offers both UV protection and scratch resistance plastic substrates, especially when used in combination with SR-100. The coating solution cuts UV radiation at wavelengths lower than 350nm by almost 100%, thereby improving weatherability and suppressing discoloration of the substrate. Hardcoat UV-100 is also a liquid and therefore compatible with most standard coating techniques, including spin, spray and dip coating.

UV-100 is composed of UV absorbers that protect the substrate materials from damaging radiation. This quality significantly improves weatherability by protecting sensitive polymers from degradation. Figure 3 depicts a UV-Vis (optical transmission) spectrum of UV-100 on a glass substrate as well as the transmission of an uncoated glass for comparison. It can be seen that the uncoated glass allows much of the UVB and most of the UVA spectrum to pass through freely. Conversely, a very thin layer of UV-100 absorbs most of the UV radiation. A film thickness of merely 6µm (0.2mil) is enough to achieve <1% transmission below 350nm.

Figure 3. UV-Vis transmission spectra of uncoated polycarbonate and polycarbonate coated with NANOMYTE Hardcoat UV-100


NEI supplies NANOMYTE Hardcoat SR-100 and Hardcoat UV-100 in gallon size bottles, as well as in 55 gallon drums for high volume applications. The company has in-house capability to apply coatings over prototype components and substrates. The company is well positioned to develop application and curing protocols suitable for specific applications of customers.

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. Victor Pelsmaeker Victor Pelsmaeker Spain says:

    Is your product suitable for UV retardant coating of Water slides made of Reinforced Fibre Glass? Do you comply with ASTM, ISO or EN standards and which ones are those?

    Thanks and best regards

  2. Didier Beghuin Didier Beghuin Belgium says:

    Do you know any europoean companies that could apply your scratch resistant coating for small series of polycarbonate optical substrates 150 x 75mm²?


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