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Transforming Commodity Coatings into Stimuli-Responsive Sustainable Materials

Marek W. Urban

Abstract


While polymeric coatings serve many useful functions, continuous needs for engineering of new devices or objects require the development of coatings materials that exhibit unique, adaptive, self-regulating functions, operating in an unprecedented, autonomous manner. To achieve these attributes, orchestrated nano or smaller scale responsive regions within coatings polymer networks are necessary. Their localized structural and morphological variable features will enable favorable spatial and energetic conditions for maintaining their functions and, at the same time, spontaneous responses induced by minute external or internal stimuli. These generalized concepts will formulate the principles governing the development of new generations of stimuli-responsive coatings materials with self-repairing characteristics, or capable of light and/or temperature induced locomotion cilia-like behavior. Furthermore, synthesis of controllable shape coatings components, such as asymmetric nanoparticles or high aspect ratio nanotubes or nanorods, will re-define the pigment volume concepts, thus leading to new functions and significant property changes. These network components integrated into one synergistic material capable of responding to internal or external stimuli will offer an unprecedented opportunity for the development of new non-commodity sustainable coatings that will be an integral part of engineered objects.

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