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Functionalized ceramic particles allow for heat-rejecting coatings

| By Scott Jenkins

NanoTech Materials Inc. (Houston; is expanding its commercial partnerships for the use the company’s Insulative Ceramic Particle (ICP) technology, which can be used in fireproof coatings, as well as in a range of applications for roof coatings that lower cooling energy demands in large buildings. The company recently announced an arrangement with the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) for using ICP in fireproofing wood structures to protect against wildfire damage, and a partnership with telecommunications major AT&T for thermal insulation.

ICP technology is based on an amorphous silica core that is functionalized with several nanoscale components that, together, give rise to its heat-rejection ability. ICP is synthesized as a powder with particle sizes of 4–30µm using a proprietary process developed by NanoTech Materials. Company co-founder and CEO Mike Francis says the thermal conductivity coefficient (k-value) of the ICP powder is 0.017 W/mK, which minimizes heat transfer when the ICP is integrated into coatings, resins and building materials.

“The ICP combines perfect emissivity with low thermal conductivity to lower heat transfer and enhance solar reflectance index (SRI),” Francis says. In roof-coating applications, the ICP is added to a polymeric protective coating that is applied to building roofs at a thickness of about 1 mm. The coating rejects heat, allowing 20–50% reductions in cooling costs, depending on the nature of the building, Francis says.

In fireproofing applications, the ICP is applied as part of a resin matrix at a thickness of 5 mm. Upon exposure to high heat and flame, the resin burns away and the ICP undergoes a sintering process that protects the underlying substrate from flame damage.