New Nanotechnology-Based Coatings are Energy Efficient and Environmentally Sound

Aug. 20, 2007
Process can save 90% in energy costs and produces no emissions

If there is a benefit derived from rising energy costs, it is the new products that are developed to provide energy savings. Manufacturers now have access to a new coating technology that not only decreases costs by as much as 90% in some cases, but is also environmentally sound. Ecology Coatings, Inc. based in Akron, Ohio used 100% solids "liquid nanotechnology" to create its new coating.

"The key to energy savings is that fact that this new coating is curable via ultraviolet light and can reduce energy expenditures by as much as 80% since baking ovens which use a great deal of natural gas are no longer necessary. Furthermore this process does not release any pollutants to the ambient environment. And these coatings can be applied to metals, plastics, electronics, medical devices, composites and paper," explains president and COO Tom Krotine.

Another major savings is the fact that space on the manufacturing floor is freed up when a 30-100 foot long thermal oven is no longer necessary. Savings on floor space can be as high as 85%. Process improvements are another benefits as it takes less than a minute, including moving time, to coat a surface.

The new technology is especially useful in the paper industry as the coating can prevent moisture penetration. This property is important for medical labels, chemical resistant labels as well as water-proof packing.

Another sector where the coating provides a myriad of benefits are decorative surfaces. To create durable, bright finishes such as chrome plating, expensive and polluting processes are necessary. The material used in these finishes is expensive as well. Furthermore the coatings are very fragile. The new coating can be applied directly over the fragile alternatives to chrome plating to protect against corrosion due in part to the nanomaterial component. Hardware, plumbing and automotives parts can be better protected with this new finish.

"On the environmental side, this process doesn't use solvents and thus eliminates the emission problems that solvents cause. In fact the EPA considers the impact of our coatings as negligible. Any oversprayed coating can be caught, have dirt filtered out of it and be reused, as opposed to conventional liquid coatings that produce waste," explains Sally Ramsey, co-founder and vice president, new product development.

Ecology Coatings, Inc. develops nano-enabled, ultra-violet curable, clean technology coatings designed to drive efficiencies and clean processes in manufacturing. The company collaborates with industry leaders to develop coatings for applications in the automotive, general industrial, electronic, specialty paper and medical sectors. For more information, please visit www.ecologycoatings.com.

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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