Technology

At Performance Coatings International Laboratories, LLC we are making innovation and technology work better for you. As a leading manufacturer and worldwide supplier of high performance oligomers and coatings, we are committed to the most stringent requirements for product protection and enhanced optical and environmental performance of glass and polymeric filters, displays, and optoelectronic components for a wide range of industries.

For over 15 years, PCI Labs has been leading in the use of thermal and UV-curable high abrasion resistance coatings. From our early experiments with non-photocatalyzed dipentaerythritol polyacrylates and epoxysilane coating compositions to the present day polycondensation of alkoxylsilanes in the presence of colloidal silica and multi-functional acrylate oligomers to nanoparticles, PCI Labs is an industry leader in developing very high abrasion resistant coatings for plastics. Trailblazers in the use of UV-curable coatings, PCI Labs possesses 14 US and International patents.

PCI Labs’ UV-curable Vueguard 901 ®, Vueguard ® 801, MaxGuard 701, TopPro and LensGuard coatings when applied to plastic substrates make it possible to design products which could not be otherwise considered.

At PCI Labs, our Research and Development teams are continually working to support our products and meet the emerging needs of our present and future customers.

We are committed to maintain the highest standards of quality in our products and excellent service to our customers within an ISO 9001:2008 environment.

 

White Papers

PCI Labs – Nanoresins, AG of Germany Complete R&D Nanoparticle Study

PCI Labs collaborated with Nanoresins, AG of Germany (formerly of Hanse Chemie, GmbH) to evaluate the abrasion and chemical resistance properties of Nanoresins’ Nanocryl products with various other metal oxide nanoparticle suspensions in PCI Labs’ R&D facilities.

Nanoresins’ Nanocryl nanoparticle products were benchmarked against competitive aluminum and silicone oxide nanoparticle suspensions in standard UV-curable formulations in PCI Labs’ R&D facilities to identify relative performance and the effects of a special silicone slip additive (the BYK 3570).

 Nano Study TAN US-002      Nano Study TAN US-002A

Critical Study on Scratch Resistance Test Methods

A number of international test methods have been advanced in various industries – electronics, optical, automotive and others – to evaluate the scratch resistance (abrasive wear) of thin film UV-curable coatings on polymeric substrates, displays and qualify coatings suppliers. Some of these wear tests do not provide valid inferences with real life experiences and pose a conundrum on the proper evaluation of different coatings performance on thermoplastic and transparent substrates.
This paper will address different scratch resistance tests – focusing on abrasion wear, – the Taber® Abraser, Norman Tool “RCA”, Pencil Hardness and Steel Wool Wear tests on Polycarbonate (PC) and Poly Methyl Methacrylate (PMMA) optical clear, thermoplastic sheet materials with two sample UV curable coatings, under 15 μm in dry film thickness.
Conclusions and recommendations on the practical selection and use of various wear tests to ascertain the abrasion resistance of UV-curable thin film coatings will be discussed.

 White Paper      Presentation

High Performance Keyboard Coatings

The ever growing and constantly changing electronic industry has established very stringent requirements for the durability and aesthetic appearance of computers and mobile input devices. Computer keyboards, the most commonly used input devices, tend to wear under everyday use. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) keyboard keys become glossy and often legends are erased with constant use. This wear can be prevented by the use of high performance UV curable anti-glare protective coatings applied by the spray process.  

 White Paper      Presentation

Multifunctional UVEB Curable Oligomers for Optical Coatings

Hard, optical clear, protective UV curable top coats are necessary for a variety of demanding applications in the automotive, aviation, electronics and scientific instrumentation markets. Coatings with special properties, such as antifog, conductivity, anti-Newton ring, antiglare performance, are highly sought-after products. However, due to limited choices of oligomers, current coatings cannot easily meet customers’ varied demands. Oligomers with low functionality may hardly meet scratch (mar) resistance or hardness specifications. Some coatings can only be applied as very thin films due to brittleness. Furthermore, chemical resistance, antifog, antistatic and antiglare properties all require artful formulation choices between monomers, oligomers, additives, photo-initiators and diluents. Lack of functionalized oligomers often restrict the creative venues for multipurpose applications. New oligomers have been developed that can solve problems like these. This presentation will discuss new polyurethane acrylate oligomers being developed using grafting and block copolymerization that, under adequate formulation, provide excellent optical properties while presenting great toughness after UV curing. Raw materials with different characteristics of hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, conductivity, elasticity, mechanical properties, and/or formulation compatibility are selected in obtaining oligomers of desired properties. Oligomers targeting for antifog applications, glass adhesion, and soft touch application, will be discussed. Specifically, antifog coatings for Polycarbonate (PC) substrate has been evaluated extensively for performance against many real life use conditions. Some formulations were compared against other commercial products in the market place.

 White Paper      Presentation

Rotary Steel Wool Scratch Testers

The abrasion resistance of optically clear, thermoplastic coated and uncoated surfaces is of great interest to industry. Scratches not only alter surface properties, aesthetics and reflected image, but also can lead to premature failure. The identification and characterization of surface wear and tear is paramount in R&D, critical to quality and process control in meeting customer performance expectations. The rotary steel wool scratch test is a quick method that provides qualitative data to accurately predict service life of coatings and quantitative data needed to develop product performance specifications. Haze formation and material removal on transparent coated plastic surfaces, can be induced by various wear modes; yet, coated plastics in electronic devices fail due to surface scratching rather than abrasion wear by repetitive or continuous load conditions.
PCI Labs’ Rotary Scratch Tester adds real value in the laboratory evaluation of abrasion wear resistance by offering reliable and standardized results. From changes in the optical properties due to scratching by steel wool (or other scrubbing media) on coated and uncoated surfaces, the measure of the material’s long term scratch resistance can be obtained.

 White Paper

PCI Labs Guide to Selecting Anti-Glare Contrast Filters

The display filter (also serving as readout filter panel) is a vital point of interface between the information display system and the viewer. Since most information systems exist for the purpose of delivering visual information to viewers, thus permitting decisions to be made or actions to be taken, it is essential that communication between the imaging system and the operator is free of interference which could distort the message, delay its recognition, or create confusion.

 White Paper

PCI Labs UV-Cured Coatings Protect Optical-Grade Resins

Abrasion and chemical attack, enemies of optical surfaces, can be tamed by coatings. The coatings can reduce glare but in some cases at the expense of image resolution. Designers can choose a reasonable compromise

 White Paper

PCI Labs Recent Developments in Coatings

What is PCI Labs Innovation?

Customized functional coating solutions, involving products and services that result in documented customer value enhancement and major customer productivity improvements.

Functional Coating Benefits

  • Very fast cure times
  • Low heat requirements
  • Thin dry film thickness
  • Very high abrasion and chemical resistance
  • Adaptable to high volume production environments
  • Cost effective/value driven products
  • High quality, high yields
  • Excellent environmental performance

Recent Developments in Coatings Presentation