Mardon I.J., Hou F., Goode C.
Cirrus Materials Science Ltd., NZ
Keywords: corrosion waterborne coatings, materials science, nanotechnology, structural colour
Cirrus HybridTM technology offers a means to deposit thin, corrosion resistant coatings on light metal alloys. Cirrus recently developed a novel evolution of this coating technology, Cirrus Paint-free ColourTM, to directly deposit a range of coloured coatings on these same alloys without the necessity for dyes, paints, or other toxic materials. Cirrus Paint-free ColourTM is a patented novel coating technology that delivers greater energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and surface protection while offering a weight advantage over organic-based and paint coatings. Light alloys such as aluminium are often the first choice of material for applications in architecture, automotive and aerospace, due to a high strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistant oxide layers. Typically, these industries use paint or organic coatings which are not only highly energy intensive, but also use toxic chemicals that are increasingly challenged by sustainability concerns. Cirrus Paint-free ColourTM leverages a combination of anodisation and electro-deposition to create a nano-pore structure that interferes with the wavelengths of light on aluminium. The result is a uniformly coloured surface that is exceptionally scratch resistant – providing a paint-free solution to manufacturing. The colours are produced by novel manipulation of the novel structure of the anodising tube arrays during the process to create a combination of plasmonic absorption and surface interference, allowing for a wide colour selection. Cirrus HybridTM coatings are between 3 and 15 microns thick and can be highly corrosion resistant. This offers a disruptive new sustainable coating system for light metal alloys, well suited to 3D-printed components. Cirrus Paint- free ColourTM for aluminium is 75% thinner, lighter and 5x more energy efficient to apply than paint.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: TechConnect Briefs 2021
Published: October 18, 2021
Pages: 85 - 88
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications, Materials Characterization & Imaging