Harvard team pitches new coating solution

PRW

Published: January 2, 2014 2:57 pm ET
Updated: January 2, 2014 2:58 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials

Researchers at Harvard University have mimicked the inner skin of a pitcher plant to create a frictionless transparent coating that could be applied to almost any size of object.

The carnivorous pitcher plant — or Nepenthes — has a super-smooth interior that locks in a lubricant yet moisture-resistant layer onto its inner skin which prevents prey such as insects escaping.

In the latest "science mirrors nature" development the Harvard team produced a multi-stage coating process that involves attaching a thin, but rough layer of porous silica particles which are used to lock-in a similar lubricating layer onto the surface to be protected.

According to the researchers applications could include acting as an anti-graffiti coating on walls or on medical implants to aid blood flow.

The process reached the finals of the Institution of Chemical Engineers Awards (IChemE) in the United Kingdom.

IChemE chief executive David Brown said the Harvard development could circumvent the limitations of some existing coatings such as contamination, degradation, lack of self-healing capabilities and damage tolerance.

"By mimicking the pitcher plants skin structure, Harvard University's new coating self-heals almost instantly, even if scraped with a knife or blade.

"It is capable of operating in extreme temperatures and high pressure, and can be applied to surfaces ranging from metals and semiconductors, to paper and cotton fabric."

Brown hailed what he called "a very clever solution" by the team at Harvard University.

It was "another excellent example of how chemical engineering is being used to improve the features and performance of products we need and rely upon every day", he added.


Comments

Harvard team pitches new coating solution

PRW

Published: January 2, 2014 2:57 pm ET
Updated: January 2, 2014 2:58 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

2014 leaves some resin firms in the black while others struggle

January 23, 2015 2:37 pm ET

On the financial side, 2014 was good for Hexcel Corp., so-so for Celanese Corp. and it could have been better for Omnova Solutions.    More

Image

Clariant's ColorForward predicts future consumer trends

January 23, 2015 1:33 pm ET

Clariant International Ltd. is marking a decade of color forecasting with the 10th edition of its ColorForward program.    More

Image

The future for PolyOne is colorful

January 23, 2015 1:28 pm ET

PolyOne Corp. is writing four color stories for 2016.    More

Image

Mexico's Polymer Solutions looks to grow, expand offerings with name change

January 23, 2015 12:03 pm ET

British biodegradable additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies plc's Mexico distributor has changed its name from Plásticos...    More

Image

Drop in oil leads to resin pricing plunge

January 22, 2015 3:16 pm ET

In most Decembers, resin makers try to focus on the holidays and on spending time with their families. This improves their mental well-being and also ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events