Sol-gel coatings are combination of inorganic and organic compounds prepared by sol-gel technology. Sol-gel process is used to convert small molecules to solid materials and involves converting monomers into colloidal solution, which acts as precursor for network of particles. Sol-gel derived coatings have characteristics such as antifungal, antibacterial, wear resistance, UV protection, semiconducting or conducting, antistatic and others. They also show good oxidation control and chemical stability. They can be applied on substrates such as ceramics, metals, and plastics using various techniques such as dipping, inkjet printing, and spin coating. Some applications of the sol-gel coatings are production of interference mirrors for optical systems, anti-reflection treatment of glass, conductive films in electronics and various types of protective coatings such as waterproof, corrosion resistant and anti-scratch among others.
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Rising demand for various sol-gel coatings such as self-cleaning, corrosion resistant, and IR and UV energy resistant from the automotive and aerospace industry is driving the growth of sol-gel coatings market. Moreover, sol-gel technique is environment friendly method for the protection of surface and can be used to replace toxic pretreatments and coatings such as chromate conversion coatings, which in turn has augmented the growth of this market. Furthermore, increasing demand for nanostructured thin films and water-based coatings is propelling the growth of sol-gel coatings market. However, high cost of these coatings is restraining the growth of sol-gel coatings market.
North America is the largest market for sol-gel coatings, owing to the stringent U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations such as 183(e) of the Clean Air Act (Act), which is increasing the demand for environment friendly coating such as sol-gel coatings. Also, the increasing demand from automotive and aerospace industry is further driving the growth of sol-gel market in this region. According to International Organization of Motor Vehicles Manufacturers (OICA), representative of global automotive industry, the registration and sales of new vehicles in Canada was around 1,939,517 1 in 2015, which increased to 1,983,745 in 2016.
Key players operating in the sol-gel coating market include 3M Company, Akzo Nobel N.V., PPG Industries, Inc., Socomore S.A.S., CG2 NanoCoatings Inc, CMR Coatings GmbH, Praxair, Inc., Nano Tech Coatings GmbH, Nanovations Pty Ltd., and Nanogate AG.
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