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• Wednesday, June 02nd, 2010

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Is it important whether or not a coating is classified as “nano” and does it affect the quality itself?

Nanoscale technologies are the development and use of devices that have a size of only a few nanometers. The prefix nano means ten to the minus ninth power (10 ‾‾ ⁹), or one billionth of a meter, a simple metric measurement.

However, what’s relevant is not the thickness of the coating itself (1-100 nanometers or some other “micro” measurement) but rather:

  • What the coating actually is.
  • What does it do?
  • By what process does it work?
  • What does it provide as an overall ADDED-VALUE product?

Therefore, just because something can be measured on the nanoscale level, it is not a guarantee of quality. Many chemicals can be spread out thin enough to be measured on the nanoscale, but it does infer a degree of inventiveness and does enable certain capabilities by virtue of being able to manipulate atoms at that much smaller levels.

An integrated permanent bond

In the case of the self clean coating Balcony systems uses, the chemical treatment itself provides, in chemical terms, a very durable “branched, cross-linked and capped” optically clear nano-film and a permanent bond is integrated into the glass itself as the nanofilm actually grows from the inside out and literally changes the molecular composition of the surface. This is truly a unique process unlike any other coating.

How will the coating stand over time

The KEY is durability and how the coating, nano or not, will stand over time, and how that “bubble” (water droplet), as defined by the contact angle measurement, will behave with the passage of time, namely normal wear and tear.

The nanotechnology behind the product

More specifically, this nanotechnology, patented worldwide, uses a two-stage chemical process. The chemical reaction created in the first stage causes the “cross-linked” and “branched” ultra thin silicone film (nanofilm) to be grown from below the surface out.

The second stage ‘caps’ the entire chain of atoms. This unique ‘capping’ substantially increases the hydrophobicity and durability, leaving, chemically speaking, no points of attachment for contaminants and creating a truly repellant charge. Through simple neutralization, all chemicals become inert within a few seconds. No curing time is needed since the chemical reaction itself occurs in less than 2 seconds.

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