Thermoplastic polycarbonates are known to be a lightweight and safe alternative to conventional materials (especially, metals and glasses) in numerous industrial domains. Nevertheless, they feature very low surface hardness, scratch and mar resistance. Polycarbonates might be protected by the application of hard and tough surface overlying coatings. Indeed, scarce interfacial adhesion, poor cohesive strength and ductility of the hard coatings often compromise their performance in several applications. Exotic materials and/or advanced manufacturing technologies are often proposed in Academia to enhance the scratch resistance of flexible polymers. However, these strategies are often extremely challenging and their cost or, simply, their practical implementation is highly demanding. According to the concept of facile manufacturability, the present work discusses an easy route to protect polycarbonates with functional coatings by the design of engineered coating materials, whose compositions and properties are suitable for conventional spraying process, without any other pre- or post-processing. Coating materials were designed accord to a sort of LEGO-Design (LD), in which subsequent layers of high affinity with the surrounding materials are formulated. In this way, the protective coatings are deposited on polycarbonate by facile, robust and low cost manufacturing routes, which are suitable for large-scaled industrial applications according to the concepts of Design for Manufacturability (DfM). © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
Barletta, M., Puopolo, M., Gisario, A., Vesco, S. (2016). Smart coatings on thermoplastic polycarbonates: LEGO-Design (LD) for facile manufacturability. PROGRESS IN ORGANIC COATINGS, 101, 161-177 [10.1016/j.porgcoat.2016.08.002].