The current nanocoatings formulation process to enhance coating properties involves manufacturing metal or metal oxide nanoparticles by conventional plasma vaporization and condensation processes and subsequently adding and dispersing them into the polymer resins (ex-situ process). The conventional nanopowder manufacturing processes generate nanoclusters of material, which have to be functionalized to keep them from aggregating prior to incorporation in the coating leading to additional processing steps and increased cost. The largest downside, however, is that nanopowders are manufactured, packaged, and used in subsequent manufacturing steps as ultra fine particulate solids, creating the potential for health risks due to airborne particulates in the manufacturing process of the nanoparticles and in subsequent downstream manufacturing where they are handled as powders.
The innovation of Topasol's INSITU NP technology is a method of forming nanoparticles in-situ of the polymer/resin matrix in one step. Topasol has demonstrated nanoparticles formation in coatings in trace amounts (<0.2%) for sensor applications to as high as 10% for other applications. The proposed process appeals to manufacturers due to reduced cost, improvement in nanoparticle purity, and reduced health risks to nanopowder exposure. The topasol additives provide higher particle content with significantly reduced viscosity compared to other particle options.