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Nanotechnology makes it possible

The trends of nanotechnology and its application in the automotive sector

Nanotechnologies become more and more important in the global market. Already now many products contain nanotechnological components or are manufactured with the help of nanotechnology. Nanotechnologies practically have influence on all areas of life and all industrial sectors and became more and more important during the last years.

But what is actually meant by „nanotechnology“? The subject of this new science field is the production and investigation of functional structures which are smaller than 100 nanometers (1 nanometer = 1 millionth of a millimeter). The use of small particles like that and their nuclear structure allow to produce materials showing completely new characteristics and functionalities.
The automotive industry takes advantage of this development and successfully uses nanotechnology in different areas. Whether in the production of tyres where lifetime and grip of the tyres are improved or in the area of vehicle navigation and audio systems where hard disks are developed which are resistant to temperature fluctuations and to vibrations of the car engine.

The advantageous characteristics of nanoparticles also have a positive effect on the exterior and consequently on the automotive wrapping. In order to protect the vehicles and to care for a perfect sealing, a so-called clear nano-coating can be applied which is more resistant to scratches and which improves the paint brilliance considerably. Nano-scaled ceramic particles are added to this paint generating the before-mentioned characteristics. Whereas „normal“ surfaces absorb dirt and water, those particles can’t stay on a nano-structured surface and roll off easily. The paint is also equipped with a special UV protection which absorbs the UV radiation by the help of additives and prevents that lower layers and pigments will be destroyed.

Self-healing paints represent a further possibility to use nanotechnology. A relatively soft surface allows scratches in the clear paint which later on will be closed and filled by the warmth of the sunlight and by the flexible surface: the so-called „reflow effect“.

You see, nanotechnology will initiate a lot of renewals and innovations. Research groups are working at full speed to find out new possibilities to design the exterior of the vehicle in a more efficient manner and to protect vehicles against all kinds of external influences.

Time will show to what extent nanotechnology will have influence on automotive high-tech films.

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