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Processing and Weathering of Sol-Gel Clearcoats for Coil-Coated Steel
Coatings, Volume: 13, Issue: 6, Start page: 982
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Clearcoats provide long-term aesthetics and protection for underlying coating systems, increasing product lifetimes. However, organic clearcoats are predominantly produced using fossil-fuel feedstocks. In search of a sustainable alternative, an experimental investigation was conducted on the develop...
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Clearcoats provide long-term aesthetics and protection for underlying coating systems, increasing product lifetimes. However, organic clearcoats are predominantly produced using fossil-fuel feedstocks. In search of a sustainable alternative, an experimental investigation was conducted on the development of glass-like clearcoats produced using the sol-gel process. The processing of sol-gel clearcoats over a pigmented polyurethane coating was studied by modifying the sol-gel solution pH, aging, curing, precursor chemistry, and deposition techniques. Under optimal formulation and processing conditions, defect-free sol-gel clearcoats were produced that have potential to be scaled up to a coil-coating line using existing technologies. Mechanical testing demonstrated the coatings had excellent adhesion, hardness, and flexibility. Furthermore, accelerated laboratory weathering tests revealed the sol-gel coatings had superior degradation resistance compared to the organic coatings tested, resulting in negligible colour changes and higher gloss retention after 4000 hours of exposure. The durability and environmental benefits of sol-gel clearcoats highlight their potential as a replacement for traditional organic clearcoats in a variety of applications.
Glass clearcoats, sol-gel process, organic-inorganic hybrids, weathering, degradation, 24 coil-coating, sustainability
Faculty of Science and Engineering
The authors would like to acknowledge the COATED M2A funding from the European 532 Social Fund via the Welsh Government (c80816), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research 533 Council (Grant Ref: EP/S02252X/1) and Tata Steel UK that has made this research possible.