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Sustainable Glass Coating Gets Federal Boost

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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A coating company that says it can lower home energy costs is getting a boost from Canada’s federal government. According to news released earlier this month, Kitchener, Ontario-based company 3E Nano Inc. is receiving CA$2.7 million (about $2.15 million) to develop a window coating that the company says will act more as insulation.

3E Nano cofounder Nicholas Komarnycky told The Record that the company has developed a low-cost energy-control coating that can be used for glass and other transparent media.

© iStock.com / nurulanga

3E Nano cofounder Nicholas Komarnycky told The Record that the company has developed a low-cost energy-control coating that can be used for glass and other transparent media.

The coating aims to block unwanted heat transfer—to keep heat outside in the summer and inside in the winter.

"We reflect all the heat signature of that solar energy that's coming through that window," Komarnycky said. While competitive coatings are mostly absorptive, "our coating behaves like a transparent insulated wall."

In addition to directly benefitting the consumer with lower energy bills, the heat transfer lockdown also cuts greenhouse gas emissions, which would help Canada achieve its climate goals.

"Not only will this investment in green-tech innovation create jobs, but it will also help meet our Paris Accord targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as one part of the global effort to mitigate climate change and global warming," Kitchener South-Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara said in a press release.

Though there’s some competition out there, Komarnycky notes that 3E Nano’s development doesn’t use any “exotic materials”—the coating is mainly carbon-based.

© iStock.com / v_zaltsev

The company added that the coating also has an opportunity for an embedded transparent layer of metal that could be activated to generate heat, an application that could be most useful for car windshields.

The company added that the coating also has an opportunity for an embedded transparent layer of metal that could be activated to generate heat, an application that could be most useful for car windshields.

The coating can also be fine-tuned for specific wavelengths, extending its service to greenhouses.

"We're basically going to change the way coatings are made," Komarnycky said. "It's definitely a game-changer for Canada."

The company, which uses a University of Toronto-based lab, expects that the coating could become commercially available in late 2019 or early 2020.

   

Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Glass coatings; Heat-resistive coatings; Insulating coatings

Comment from Robert Bullard, (8/23/2017, 9:03 AM)

Applied in the field or in a factory setting? On the exterior exposed surface or interior surface? UV stability for how many years, at what elevations and latitudes? Stable to what maximum ambient temperature? Is there any loss of visible light transmission or color change through glazing? If on the outside, is abrasion resistance that of the glazing material and is there degradation due to the pH of precipitation below 4?


Comment from Catherine Brooks of Eco-Strip, (8/23/2017, 9:50 AM)

Could this coating be applied by end customers to existing windows in their homes? If so, homeowners would have another reason to save existing windows, old and relatively new) rather than replacing them with ones which may not be as long-lasting.


Comment from Jesse Melton, (8/24/2017, 12:57 AM)

I can't imagine the coating would be suitable for application outside the factory. Coatings for optics are almost always applied in specialized environments. Partly because the application processes can be very exotic and dangerous and partly because the coating thickness has to be perfectly consistent across the surface for the coating to work. That's even more crucial when reflection is the key attribute.

I might be wrong, but I don't think so.


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