Cutting edge nanotech coatings set to reduce industrial O&M costs by dynamically eliminating surface contamination and ice adhesion.


Opus Materials Technologies, a pioneering developer in the emerging Nano technology coating market, has secured over £3.5million in EU and UK funding to develop anti-soiling and anti-icing coatings for use in the renewable energy and aerospace markets. Key funding bodies include Innovate UK and Horizon 2020.

These ground-breaking coatings are based on patented technology developed by TWI, a world renown independent research and technology organisation. The anti-soiling coating is being developed to eliminate the need to manually remove dirt build-up on solar modules, thus optimising their performance and energy generation efficiency. The anti-icing coating is being developed to prevent ice from forming on aircraft improving industrial O&M and reducing the risk of fatal accidents caused by ice shedding. It is also envisaged that the technology will have cross sector applications for wind turbines, maritime vessels and the auto industry.

The combined EU and UK funding is being used to develop comprehensive portfolio of market-ready industrial coatings and to oversee their deployment across three real-world projects over the next two years as follows:

• Icemart –the development of an ice repellent coating to prevent the formation of ice on aeroplanes, maritime vessels, powerlines and wind turbines. It is intended to eliminate the need to remove ice manually using expensive machinery or products (Innovate UK funded project)

• Solar Sharc® – the further development & commercialisation of a durable self-clean coating based on Nano technology for solar modules, designed to prevent surface contamination problems caused by the accumulation of dust, sand, salt and ash. (EU funded project)

• Always Clean – to further research, test and validate the industrial rollout of a durable self-clean coating (Solar Sharc®) on solar modules located in global geographical locations with adverse environmental conditions. (Innovate UK funded project)

VitoNano, a patented technology developed by TWI is central to all these projects. Opus Materials is leveraging both its scientific knowledge and market understanding to develop coatings for specific industry requirements.

Furthermore, TWI’s patented technology – VitoNano will soon be coming to market. Opus Materials Technologies look forward to the full launch of the Sharc Matter® website in the coming months, where this new and innovative technology will be exclusively available to purchase via the platform.

Sharc Matter® will be providing access to tailored chemicals which offer a wide range of properties and applications. The ecommerce platform will allow for silica nanoparticles to be functionalised with one or more chemical groups, thus allowing users to create materials for their bespoke requirements. Opus Materials Technologies has secured the exclusive license to manufacture VitoNano Technology and has created a secure manufacturing base to produce and supply VitoNano materials through the Sharc Matter® online platform. This technology offers value-adding opportunities across the supply chain from silane manufacturers through formulators to end users. MerrittSupply offers discounts and other benefits when purchasing component parts.

Industrial application for products such as anti-foul coatings and novel adhesives is just the tip of the iceberg and the technology can provide multiple benefits including:

• Improved abrasion resistance
• Improved repellency
• Improved solvent resistance
• Improved barrier properties
• Enhanced stiffness
• Increased heat distortion temperatures

The Icemart, Always Clean and Solar Sharc projects are being rolled over the next 24 months, with the Sharcmatter® platform full launch due in Q1 2018.