It Sounds Crazy, but Advanced Coatings Technologies are Here!

Advanced coatings technologies have become essential to modern industry, providing many previously thought-impossible benefits.

From improved durability and corrosion resistance to enhanced aesthetics and self-cleaning properties, these coatings have revolutionized how we protect and enhance different materials.

Who Uses Them?

Several industries use advanced coating technologies, including:

  • Aerospace: Coatings protect the aircraft’s surfaces from corrosion, abrasion, and other forms of wear and tear. Coatings can also help reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency, making planes more cost-effective.
  • Automotive: Coatings protect car bodies from rust, scratches, and other forms of damage. Coatings can also improve the appearance of vehicles and increase their resale value.
  • Electronics: Coatings protect circuit boards from moisture and other environmental factors that can cause damage. Coatings also improve the performance of electronic components and extend their lifespan.
  • Energy: They increasingly use coatings in the energy industry to protect equipment from corrosion, reduce friction, and improve the efficiency of energy production processes. For example, coatings improve the performance of wind turbine blades and reduce maintenance costs.
  • Medical: Medical devices often require specialized coatings that prevent bacterial growth, reduce friction, and improve performance. Coatings also make implants more biocompatible and reduce the risk of rejection by the patient’s immune system.
Aerospace and Electronics use Advanced Coating Technology
Aerospace and Electronics use Advanced Coating Technology

Overall, advanced coating technologies have a wide range of applications across several industries and are critical for protecting equipment, improving performance, and reducing maintenance costs.

Kinds of Coatings

Advanced coating technologies are made of several materials and processes designed to provide specific benefits.

Examples of advanced coatings include:

  • Antimicrobial Coatings: These coatings contain antimicrobial agents that inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, making them ideal for hospitals, food processing plants, and other environments where hygiene is critical.
  • Hydrophobic Coatings: These coatings repel water, causing it to bead up and roll off the surface.
  • Multifunctional Coatings: These coatings combine multiple functionalities, such as self-cleaning, antifouling, and anti-icing properties, into a single coating.
  • Nanocoatings: These are coatings with a thickness of fewer than 100 nanometers that offer improved resistance to wear, corrosion, and friction.
  • Oleophobic Coatings: repels oils and other organic compounds.
  • Self-Healing Coatings: They repair themselves when damaged, extending their lifespan and reducing maintenance costs.
  • Smart Coatings: These coatings respond to environmental changes, such as temperature or humidity, and alter their properties accordingly.
  • Thermal Barrier Coatings: They protect materials from high-temperature environments and improve their heat resistance.
  • Transparent Coatings: They provide a clear and transparent finish while providing additional functional properties, such as scratch resistance, UV protection, and water repellency. 

Advanced Needs Advanced

graphene plays its part in advanced coatings technology

The development of advanced coating technologies requires the use of advanced materials and processes. One such material is graphene, an incredibly strong and lightweight two-dimensional material. Graphene coatings have the potential to provide exceptional strength and durability, as well as thermal and electrical conductivity.

diamond-like carbon (source:
Diamond-Like Carbon

Another material is diamond-like carbon (DLC), a coating with exceptional wear resistance and low friction—commonly used in the automotive and aerospace industries, where they protect critical components from wear and tear.

Advanced coating processes include chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which involves depositing a thin material film onto a surface using a chemical reaction. CVD creates exceptional purity and control coatings, making it ideal for applications in the semiconductor and electronics industries.

Advanced Coating Techniques

There are several ways of applying advanced coatings, each designed to provide specific benefits. 

3D printing, an Additive Manufacturing example
3D Printing: an Additive Manufacturing Example
  • Plasma Spraying involves using a plasma torch to melt a material before spraying it onto a surface. This technique is commonly used to apply thermal spray coatings.
  • Dip Coating involves immersing a substrate into a coating solution before drying and curing the coating. This technique is commonly used to apply thin films of polymer coatings.
  • Additive Manufacturing. This technique, such as 3D printing, creates complex geometries and custom-designed coatings, making it ideal for applications in the medical and aerospace industries.

Advanced Coating Testing and Analysis

Ensuring the quality and performance of advanced coatings requires stringent testing and analysis, including adhesion tests, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and tests for other properties, such as thermal conductivity and electrical resistance.

Advanced coating testing and analysis can also include techniques such as X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy, allowing for the coating’s structure and composition analysis and optimizing the coating’s properties and performance.


Advanced coating technologies represent a significant advancement over traditional coatings, offering improved performance, functionality, and durability, but may require specialized expertise and resources to develop and apply.

Advanced coating technologies offer several benefits, including:

  • Cost savings: Advanced coatings reduce the need for maintenance and replacement of materials, leading to cost savings.
  • Enhanced performance: Advanced coatings can improve the performance of materials in various ways, such as increasing their hardness, reducing friction, or improving their electrical or thermal conductivity.
  • Functionality: Advanced coatings provide specific functionalities, such as antimicrobial or self-healing properties, that can be useful in many applications.
  • Improved aesthetics: Enhance the appearance of materials by providing a smooth, uniform finish or adding color or texture.
  • Improved durability: Advanced coatings can improve the resistance of materials to wear, corrosion, and other forms of damage, increasing their lifespan and reducing maintenance.
  • Protection: Coatings protect materials from environmental factors such as UV radiation, moisture, and chemicals, as well as physical damage.
  • Reduced environmental impact: Advanced coatings help reduce the environmental impact of products and processes by improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, and minimizing the use of hazardous materials.

How are they different from the “Old” Way?

Advanced coating technologies represent a significant advancement over traditional coatings, offering improved performance, functionality, and durability, but may require specialized expertise and resources to develop and apply.

Advanced coating technologies differ from traditional coatings in several ways:

  • Application process: Advanced coatings often require specialized processes, such as plasma deposition or electroplating, that are more precise and complex than traditional coating application methods.
  • Composition: Advanced coatings often use new materials, such as nanoparticles or polymers, that provide enhanced properties and functionalities that traditional coatings cannot achieve.
  • Cost: Advanced coatings can be more expensive than traditional coatings because of their specialized materials, application processes, and enhanced performance.
  • Functionality: Advanced coatings can provide specific functionalities that traditional coatings cannot, such as self-healing or antimicrobial properties.
  • Performance: Advanced coatings offer improved performance compared to traditional coatings, providing better resistance to wear, corrosion, and other forms of damage, as well as enhancing other properties, such as hardness, electrical conductivity, and thermal resistance.
  • Thickness: Advanced coatings are typically thinner than traditional coatings, often only a few microns thick, allowing them to protect without adding bulk or weight to the material.

Before Using Them, Consider…

Carefully consider these factors when choosing an advanced coating technology:

  • Application Process: Consider the application process for the coating, including the equipment and expertise required to apply it. Some coating technologies may require specialized equipment or expertise that may not be readily available, affecting your decision.
  • Cost: Consider the cost of the coating technology, including the cost of the coating material, application process, and any necessary equipment. Some coatings may be more expensive, so balancing cost with performance requirements is important.
  • Environmental Factors: Consider the environmental factors the coating deals with, such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to chemicals or UV radiation. Look for coatings that can withstand these factors and provide the necessary protection.
  • Performance Requirements: Consider the specific performance requirements of your application, such as wear resistance, corrosion resistance, or thermal resistance, and choose the right coating that meets these requirements.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Consider any regulatory requirements that may apply to your application, such as safety or environmental regulations. Look for coatings that comply with these requirements.
  • Substrate Material: The coating technology you choose should be compatible with the substrate, such as metal, plastic, or ceramic. Some coatings may work better with certain materials than others, so choose wisely.
  • Sustainability: Consider the environmental impact of the coating technology, such as its potential for reducing waste or energy consumption. Look for coatings that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The Future of Advanced Coating Technologies

As technology continues to advance, so will the capabilities of advanced coating technologies. Researchers are exploring new materials and processes that can provide even greater benefits, such as enhanced durability, self-healing properties, and improved thermal management. 

Nanotechnology and 3D printing advancements are opening up new possibilities for custom-designed coatings and coatings with complex geometries.

One area of research is the development of smart coatings, which change their properties in response to external stimuli. For example, a coating that changes color in response to temperature changes could show when a surface is too hot to touch. Coatings that can detect and repair damage could provide self-healing properties for a range of applications.

Another area of research is using biomimicry to create coatings that mimic the properties of natural materials. For example, a coating that mimics the self-cleaning properties of a lotus leaf could create self-cleaning surfaces for a range of applications. Additionally, coatings that mimic the structure of butterfly wings could provide enhanced strength and durability.

In Sum

Advanced coating technologies have revolutionized how we protect and enhance the properties of different materials. From thermal spray coatings to self-cleaning coatings, these technologies provide a range of essential benefits for modern industry.

As technology advances, these coatings’ capabilities will only grow, providing even greater benefits for businesses and consumers. 

By investing in advanced coating technologies, companies can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace and stay ahead of the curve in innovation and performance.

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