More than 50 years ago, the world’s first commercial coating was used to seal a small part of the London Underground system.
The new coatings used today to protect the world of electronic products are the result of the work of a group of specialists, who developed coatings with an interest in the properties of materials.
The first coatings were applied to a piece of aluminium foil to protect it from being damaged by lightning strikes.
This technique is now used to protect mobile phones and other electronics.
The work of the coatings specialists is being recognised by the coating industry.
They have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002, which was awarded to an organisation that was pioneering new coating technologies.
It is the result, says Prof Rufus O’Neill from the University of Dundee, that coatings now make up one of the most important components in electronic products.
“There is a real need for these technologies and we are in a unique position to provide them,” he says.
Prof O’Neil is a former member of the European Commission’s Scientific Advisory Committee on the Science and Technology of Coatings.
The committee is a group appointed by the European Union to provide advice on the future direction of scientific research and development in the fields of coating and electronic products.
“He says the coaters work has been important in helping the EU’s scientific research community reach the conclusion that a wide range of coat-making technologies, such as those for the design and application of new coat-insulation materials, are of strategic importance.”
We are very pleased to have received this award for our coatings, and we hope that it will inspire other coatings researchers to work on coatings to improve the quality of life of the citizens of the EU and our neighbours,” Prof O’Donnell says.
The group behind the award, the National Research Council, has also made an impact on the coat-makers’ profession.
In 2004, the council established a coat-in-place fund that provides grants to coatings companies that are developing new coatings.”
This is a very good start and we want to continue to support coatings research and develop new coat technologies,” says Mr Peter J. Bovell, who chairs the council.
He says it is encouraging to see that coat-building is a well-researched subject and is the focus of the councils programme.”
I think we have some great young researchers out there and I think the award shows that coatmaking is one of those areas of study that is very well-funded,” he adds.