Improves plastic kitchenware performance and versatility, making plastic competitive or superior to glass and ceramics in various settings, including use at high temperatures.
NANOCERAMIC-POLYMER HYBRID COATINGS
A novel, controlled, low-temperature process (< 100˚C) based on in-situ precipitated nanostructures grown in aqueous solution is the key to making and depositing, non-destructively, functional metal oxide films on various substrates, including plastics such as silicone, Teflon and PET. Crystalline Titanium oxide (TiO2) and Zinc oxide (ZnO) coatings are photocatalytic under UV light (and sunlight) and can be used to decompose organic compounds, including fats and oils, which can then be more readily washed off with water, reducing in turn the use of detergents. At scale, processing can be as simple as dipping the carrier in aqueous precursor solution and holding it therein until the desired thickness of the coating is grown. When necessary, processing can also be done via electro-deposition.
Plastic products are replacing a myriad of glass, ceramic and metal cookware items due to their durability, versatility, and lower manufacturing cost. This trend will accelerate once coated plastics which resist malodors and stains and do not deteriorate over time after exposure are introduced to prepare, serve, consume, and store foods. Conformable, durable and dyeable nanoceramic coatings which offer self-cleaning, disinfecting, and non-stick functionality to flexible as well as rigid plastics, are attractive to a kitchenware market that favors innovative, aesthetically-pleasing and functional products of all sizes, shapes and colors. Natural product extensions from kitchenware are into plastic home goods and transportation components which can serve as part of a whole-room or space cleaning system.
Keywords: nanoceramic-coated plastics; titanium oxide; zinc oxide; nanostructured; photocatalytic; self-cleaning
Development status: Samples are being tested and additional nanostructures are being vetted for wear, catalytic, and adhesion properties.
Other potential applications: The coatings can be deposited on a variety of substrates in addition to plastic, for example, glass, ceramic, metal, and bio-materials. Self-cleaning, anti-fouling, and anti-corrosion features are sought-after in a variety of industrial, appliance, homeware, civil engineering, pet and animal, marine, and sanitary settings.
Patent status: Legal protection strategy is under active evaluation for Binghamton’s cleanforge™ technology platform.
1. Improves plastic kitchenware performance and versatility, making plastic competitive or superior to glass and ceramics in various settings, including use at high temperatures, e.g., baking or frying, and in non-traditional shapes.
2. Dipping plasticware into an aqueous solution for several minutes is a simple, low-cost, low-temperature, and scalable manufacturing step (does not require vacuum processing).
3. Photocatalytic property of coated plastic kitchenware reduces use of detergents for cleaning.
Business Opportunity: Binghamton University is seeking a co-development and licensing deal with a strategic industry partner or angel investment into a spin-out company of which the sole inventor would be a founder.