MetaShield’s core technology is a breakthrough silica-based coating that combines the transparency and durability of glass with the flexibility and versatility normally associated with polymers. The unique nanostructured coating offers enhanced shatter resistance for glass, and can be customized to offer scratch resistance, hydrophobicity, oleophobicity, and corrosion resistance, among several other properties.
Sol-gel thin film coatings have the advantage of being highly customizable. The basic chemistry behind MetaShield coatings is the hydrolysis and condensation reactions of siloxanes and organically substituted siloxanes to form a hybrid organic/inorganic silica-based matrix that easily bonds with the surface of glass and other oxides.
The MetaShield Difference
Unlike many silica-based coating platforms, which require complex application methods (vapor deposition, baking, and sputter coating) and extensive heat curing, the MetaShield formula is applied using conventional methods such as spray, dip, spin, and flood coating. The solution rapidly dries at room temperature into a transparent and highly durable film that is ~1μm thin (for most use cases).
The patent-pending coating platform can also serve as a robust and durable host for nanoparticles that can be employed for a variety of desired properties and effects, specifically tailored to multiple industry uses (see ‘Scalability’).
Silica vs. Polymer
MetaShield films can also serve as a superior and non-fossil fuel based substitute for conventional polymer-based coatings in various settings. Silica-based coatings represent an evolutionary advance over polymer-based coatings. Because silica is the primary material in glass, it shares many of the qualities of glass – superior transparency and toughness – yet has the flexibility and versatility normally associated with the more inferior polymer-based coatings. These silica-based coatings also are highly resistant to UV degradation.
Silica-based coatings are also durable enough to be applied in thicknesses that would be far too low for any polymer to be effective. Although these coatings are glass based, their ultra-thin dimensions make them quite flexible, eliminating the main concern with glass, namely its fragility. Silica coatings have better light transmission, thermal properties, and acid resistance than traditional polymer coatings. Consistent with efforts by researchers worldwide to use eco-friendly materials, these coatings are also non-toxic and contain no fossil fuel elements, unlike their oil-based polymer counterparts. Silica coatings can also be tuned to provide a multitude of other benefits, such as abrasion resistance, omniphobicity, oleophobicity, and anti-reflectivity, to name a few.