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Nano rust-resistance 041516 -steel-guard-nano-coat-tm-500x500Large quantities of steel are used in architecture, bridge construction and ship-building. Structures of this type are intended to be long-lasting. Furthermore, even in the course of many years, they must not lose any of their qualities regarding strength and safety. For this reason, the steel plates and girders used must have extensive and durable protection against corrosion. In particular, the steel is attacked by oxygen in the air, water vapor and salts. Nowadays, various techniques are used to prevent the corrosive substances from penetrating into the material. One common method is to create an anti-corrosion coating by applying layers of zinc-phosphate. Now, research scientists at INM — Leibniz Institute for New Materials developed a special type of zinc-phosphate nanoparticles. In contrast to conventional, spheroidal zinc-phosphate nanoparticles, the new nanoparticles are flake-like. They are ten times as long as they are thick. As a result of this anisotropy, the penetration of gas molecules into the metal is slowed down.

The developers will be demonstrating their results and the possibilities they offer at stand B46 in hall 2 at this year’s Hanover Trade Fair as part of the leading trade show Research & Technology which takes place from 25th to 29th April.

“In first test coatings, we were able to demonstrate that the flake-type nanoparticles are deposited in layers on top of each other thus creating a wall-like structure,” explained Carsten Becker-Willinger, Head of Nanomers® at INM. “This means that the penetration of gas molecules through the protective coating is longer because they have to find their way through the ´cracks in the wall´.” The result, he said, was that the corrosion process was much slower than with coatings with spheroidal nanoparticles where the gas molecules can find their way through the protective coating to the metal much more quickly.

In further series of tests, the scientists were able to validate the effectiveness of the new nanoparticles. To do so, they immersed steel plates both in electrolyte solutions with spheroidal zinc-phosphate nanoparticles and with flake-type zinc-phosphate nanoparticles in each case. After just half a day, the steel plates in the electrolytes with spheroidal nanoparticles were showing signs of corrosion whereas the steel plates in the electrolytes with flake-type nanoparticles were still in perfect condition and shining, even after three days. The researchers created their particles using standard, commercially available zinc salts, phosphoric acid and an organic acid as a complexing agent. The more complexing agent they added, the more anisotropic the nanoparticles became.

INM conducts research and development to create new materials — for today, tomorrow and beyond. Chemists, physicists, biologists, materials scientists and engineers team up to focus on these essential questions: Which material properties are new, how can they be investigated and how can they be tailored for industrial applications in the future?

Four research thrusts determine the current developments at INM:

  • New materials for energy application,
  • New concepts for medical surfaces,
  • New surface materials for tribological systems and
  • Nano safety and nano bio.

Research at INM is performed in three fields: Nanocomposite Technology, Interface Materials, and Bio Interfaces. INM — Leibniz Institute for New Materials, situated in Saarbrücken, is an internationally leading center for materials research. It is an institute of the Leibniz Association and has about 220 employees.

Nanotech_cell_cultures%20copy A look at nanotech for healthcare diagnostics and treatment, and how medical and pharmaceutical applications will boost the global nanocoatings market.

“The healthcare industry is rapidly moving towards miniaturization of equipment and use of nanotechnology for diagnostics and treatment,” says BCC Research Analyst Vijay Laxmi.

“In keeping with this trend, manufacturers are focusing on producing MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems),” he notes. “Growing demand for minimally invasive surgeries and the presence of high unmet medical needs in emerging Latin American and Asia-Pacific economies are responsible for the growth of the market and also present significant opportunities for the disposable sensors.”

With a growing demand for disposable medical devices that are safe and cost-effective to use, disposable medical sensors have surged in demand, according to BCC Research.

In its new report, BCC Research says that manufacturers, in an attempt to cater to the changing dynamics of the market, are shifting their focus towards developing disposable medical sensors.

The global disposable medical sensors market was valued at $3.8 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2% to reach an estimated value of $6.8 billion in 2019. Increasing demand for diagnostic and monitoring devices such as cardiac pacemakers and blood glucose monitors are the key drivers of this segment.

Growth drivers include an increasing geriatric population coupled with spreading prevalence of target diseases pertaining to cardiovascular, audiology, and urology systems. Rising usage rates of insulin and infusion pumps due to pervasive levels of diabetes is predicted to further boost market growth.

Nanocoatings market

Meanwhile, the nanocoatings market growth is likely to provide intriguing application possibilities in healthcare. Globally, the nanocoatings market is forecast to grow at at a 24.7% CAGR, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research (TMR).

TMR estimates that the global nanocoatings market will be worth US$6.75 billion by 2019. TMR reports that the global nanocoatings market was US$1.45 billion in 2012. The 24.7% CAGR growth between 2013 and 2019, says the report, will come from coatings used in the automotive and medical and pharmaceutical industries.

TMR analysts say anti-microbial nanocoatings registered the highest demand and accounted for 29.6% of global demand in 2012. This product type finds extensive application in the healthcare, food production, and water treatment sectors.

However, the fastest growth will be exhibited by anti-fingerprint nanocoatings, where the electronics, automotive, packaging, and healthcare sectors will make the largest contribution to demand.

In 2012, medical and healthcare sector accounted for the highest demand for nanocoatings, which represented 14% of that year’s global demand. TMR suggests that several types of medical equipment and implants are accented with nanocoatings. TMR anticipates that the use of nanocoatings in the healthcare sector is likely to continue in the coming years, driving the nanocoatings market significantly.


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