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Centre for Sol-Gel Coatings (CSOL)

The main objective of the Centre is to develop inorganic and organic inorganic hybrid nanocomposite coatings generated by sol-gel process.Nanotechnology is one of the key technologies of the 21st century and sol-gel processing is one of the different wet chemical methods that can create nano-crystalline or nano-scaled amorphous materials. Sol-gel method has about three decade long history, starting with processing of oxide materials including glass and ceramics in early days to preparation of non-oxides as well in the recent times. Processing of organic-inorganic hybrid nano-composite materials using this technique is now an active field of research. The advantage of an organic-inorganic hybrid is that it can favorably bring synergy between the dissimilar properties of organic and inorganic components in a single material. Sol-gel derived hybrid nano-composite material synthesis involves the poly-condensation of organically modified silanes along with silicon or metal alk-oxides. Out of the various material forms that sol-gel processing can lead to such as, generation of:

  • Dense ceramic bodies;
  • Coatings/thin films;
  • Aerogels;
  • Monoliths; and
  • Ceramic fibres,

Hybrid nanocomposite coatings generated by sol-gel process are extremely promising for commercial exploitation due to the following advantages:

  • Eco-friendliness
  • Possibility to tailor properties at nano-scale
  • Multi-functionality
  • Good mechanical properties due to inorganic network
  • Flexibility of coating and compatibility with organic paints due to organic moiety
  • Possibility of thick coatings due to independently polymerizable organic groups
  • Suitability for deposition on different substrate materials such as metals/SS, ceramic tiles, glass, plastics
  • Low temperature ultraviolet (UV)/near-infrared (NIR) curability
  • Amenability for deposition on large areas with robotic automation
  • Scalability of sol synthesis and coating deposition

The Centre for Sol-Gel Coatings at ARCI established in 2008 ,Hyderabad it is equipped with state-of-the art facilities for pilot scale demonstration of all associated operations of the coating technology.The Centre is now working with several industrial partners for development and demonstration of sol-based nano-composite coatings for a wide variety of applications. The Centre is also pursuing basic research for further improving the technology. By virtue of the above mentioned advantages and the varied functionalities that the coatings can yield, they can be adopted to a broad spectrum of applications. Some applications are presented inside.