Glass-like coatings for automotive parts combine protection with colour

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials will be presenting coatings that offer protection from corrosion and wear as well as featuring aesthetically pleasing design and colour at this year's IAA International Motor Show.

The coatings have glassy and glass-ceramic properties. They therefore reduce the level of corrosion and wear, susceptibility to scratching or tarnishing and other processes of oxidation on surfaces. To complement these protective properties, depending on the choice of colour pigments, the INM production method can be used to produce the colours of red, black, green, white and blue for decorative purposes with stability at high temperatures. These functional coatings are suitable for metallic substrates such as steel, aluminium or alloys or as a protective layer for glassy components.

The INM uses silicates for the coatings, which are converted into a sol-gel nanocomposite in a single-step reaction. Depending on the colour pigment and the substrate, this means that surfaces can be hermetically sealed at from 200 to 800°C. The thickness of these layers ranges from 2 to 10µm. Curved and flat surfaces can be covered with the coating in immersion chambers or spray booths.

"In addition to the properties which have been mentioned, our production method also opens up other possibilities," says Peter William de Oliveira, head of the Optical Materials programme division. These are said to include possible non-stick properties, a certain flexibility in the layer or also the possibility of electrical insulation as a result of the vitreousness.

Author
Tom Austin-Morgan

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