Silicon-based additives give better anti-scratching to automotive clear-coats

A team of Iranian researchers have recently come up with a new method to increase the scratch resistance of automotive clear coats.

During the recent decades, there has been a great deal of efforts to improve the resistance of automotive clear coats against the abrasive and erosive wear. As a result, a number of techniques have been proposed for this purpose. A recent example of the latter involves the use of silicon-based additives to give better the anti-scratching quality to the applied surfaces.

The researchers have managed to integrate 40 nm modified silica nanoparticles into an acrylic/melamine clear-coat to obtain superiority in terms of scratch resistance. In addition and as a subsidiary part of their study, they have established an innovative routine to investigate the scratch morphology and characteristics by means of gonio-spectrophotometry.

According to the results of this experimental research, the implementation of nano-sized particles let the achievement of higher degrees of improvement in the properties compared to the conventional silicon-based additives. In other words, the nanoparticles would influence the curing process of the coating and form a particles/coating physical network which resists against scratches.

Based on the conducted research, the addition of the nanoparticles not only increases the hardness, elasticity modulus, and toughness of the coating but also lowers its network density and converts the scratch morphology from fracture type to plastic type (self-healing capability). Consequently, these improvements together bring about durability in the performance of the automotive clear-coats and assist to maintain their visual appearance.