nCoat, Inc. responded to industry and investor questions concerning uses of nanotechnology products under development. nCoat released information on three development projects currently in testing that are exploring the efficacy and performance of nano-scale coating (surface treatment materials) developed at the company. The testing was done by potential customers at their facilities. Internally, nCoat projects are administered by nTech, Inc., and the coatings are applied by High Performance Coatings, Inc. (HPC), two wholly owned subsidiaries of nCoat.
Working with customers, nCoat and its subsidiaries are focused on developing engineered coating solutions to meet and exceed increasingly high performance materials specifications. Through nTech, nCoat develops nano-scale coatings products principally focused on the following key aspects:
- Continued improvements to proprietary binding and dispersion formulas;
- Continued research and testing of the solids in coatings for new, enhanced or new alternate functionality when applied to multiple substrates;
- Improvement of materials and processes to further exploit binding interactions between coatings source materials and between the coating and the substrate;
- Testing new uses for the high density, low porosity nano formulations; and
- Development and testing of new methods to create uniform sized nano particles.
For the past several months, nTech has been working with an aerospace company with the objective to reduce the weight of exhaust system components that would thereby enable the weight reduction to be used for increased payload and fuel capacity.
The design solution called for ceramic matrix composites exposed to high temperature degradation risks while operating with sufficient tensile strength to maintain operational requirements. The use of nanotechnology provided a new, previously unknown solution by introducing the nano-formulated coating as a binding agent within the ceramic matrix. The primary benefit is created as the nano-coating penetrates deeper and more evenly in binding the materials. An added benefit to the mix is the nano-coating simultaneously provides thermal barrier functionality to the composite deriving previously unachievable performance. A secondary benefit results as nano-scaled materials penetrate so deeply and evenly, the temperatures required to cure the ceramic matrix composite are reduced from 1,800-2,100 degrees Fahrenheit to 650 degrees, representing a significant savings in the overall cost to manufacture the composite material.
A second challenge from the aerospace sector has called on nTech for the protection of substrate structural material in extreme temperature conditions against the unacceptable risks of thermal oxidation. Testing was performed for NASA involving thermal barrier coatings designed to enable the fuselage of spacecraft to endure exposure to 4,200°F for a period during orbital re-entry. The resultant incorporation of a formulated nano-coating increased the duration of protection by 78 times previous testing -- from ten seconds to thirteen plus minutes.
A third nTech project focuses on preventing rotor blade abrasion. Various industry coatings were tested on the edge of blades at high speeds to confirm protection against abrasion from rainfall. A standard rotor blade rain erosion test set tip speed at 632 feet per second, drenched the blades in simulated rainfall at a rate of three inches per hour and defined failure as erosion of the coating until an unbroken line of bare metal was exposed at the blade edge. Within 10-15 minutes, the industry-standard micron particulate coatings tested reached the failure point. The same test utilizing nCoat's nano-formulated product did not fail through the entire duration of a 60-minute test. The tests demonstrated a performance increase for the nTech coating by a factor of up to six times over the competition.
"These three examples are spectacular singular achievements. Collectively they raise the performance of custom formulated specialty coatings to new previously unattainable levels," commented Paul S. Clayson, Chairman and CEO of nCoat. "As these products complete their individual development cycles and begin high volume production, the new commercial prospects in the aerospace industry are substantial. These products could displace current standard coatings in the industry."