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Technology review: Organic-inorganic hybrid coatings

SpecialChem / Sep 6, 2005

The term "hybrid coatings" is rightly used in connection with many different systems in which two (or more) binder systems with distinct properties and curing mechanisms are present. While there are many such systems, the greatest potential for increasing levels of coating performance - or achieving effects which cannot be obtained in any other way - lies with the extreme case of a hybrid coating: that in which organic and inorganic components are combined at a molecular level or at the level of fine functionalised nanoparticles. The general use of the term "organic-inorganic hybrid" may be relatively new and its scope is now rapidly expanding, but a limited number of such hybrid coatings have been in use for decades. The classical example is that of zinc-rich silicate coatings containing small amounts of organic binder materials (and in particular alkyl silicate types). This form of hybrid coating has been used to give outstanding corrosion protection for more than 50 years. For more than 20 years, it has also been possible to overcoat these systems with another hybrid system, epoxy-polysiloxanes, to provide exceptional levels of corrosion and weathering resistance.

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