P2i – Inventors of Liquid-Repellant Technology

No Comments » January 18th, 2013 posted by // Categories: Science & Technology



 

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS

 

P2i

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
P2i Ltd
P2i strapline RGB.jpg
Type Private
Genre Nanotechnology
Founded 2004
Headquarters AbingdonOxfordshireUK
Area served Global
Key people Carl D Francis (CEO)
Ady Moores (CFO)
Dr Stephen Coulson (CTO)
Eric Cohill (President, P2i Inc)
Simon Kellard (Group Operations Director)
Nick Rimmer (Applications Director
Products Functional nano-coatings
Website www.p2ilabs.com

P2i is a nano-coatings technology company, operating internationally, which has developed a family of patents in liquid-repellent nano-coatingsnano-coating technology based upon UK defense research.[1] The technology can be adapted to provide a range of treatments for different applications. P2i’s nanotechnology is a super-thin coating (it’s less than 30nm thick, about 1000 times thinner than a human hair) for electronic devices that essentially make them liquid- and stain-repellent. P2i says it’s the leader in liquid-repellent nano-coating technology, over 7 million hearing aids currently feature the technology.

Contents

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[edit]Technology

Ion-mask water droplet material surface.jpg

The company’s platform technology is based on original PhD research [2] carried out in the late 1990s by P2i’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Stephen Coulson, within the Functional Surfaces group led by Professor Jas Pal Badyal at Durham University [3]

The technology grows a highly hydrophobic, nanoscopic (40-80 nm) polymer layer, based on perfluorinated carbon compounds, over the entire surface of an object, through the action of a special pulsed, ionized gas plasma, created within a vacuum at room temperature . The nano-coating has the effect of lowering surface energy, down to one third that of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), which in turn imparts hydrophobic properties.[4]

Video footage shows that water and other liquids form beads and roll off when placed in contact with nano-thin polymer treated products [5] P2i claims the process attaches the polymer with covalent bonds and becomes part of the surface of the material it is attached to [6]

P2i claims that its nano-coating technology can impart or enhance liquid repellency with a diverse range of materials, including polymers, metals, fabrics, leather, ceramics, glass and paper. It also claims that the nano-coating is effective in protecting complex, 3D objects incorporating several different materials, thanks to the gas-phase operation of the polymerization process [7][8]

[edit]History

Ion-mask water droplet material surface 2.jpg

Coulson’s research project was funded by the DSTL which wished to protect clothing from water and other liquids while maximizing comfort. P2i Ltd was established as a stand-alone company in 2004, as the first DSTL technology spin-out managed by Ploughshare Innovations (the DSTL’s technology transfer company)[9]

On 13 July 2010, P2i announced the acquisition of Surface Innovations Ltd, a UK-based technology company with several functional nano-coating patent families in areas such as anti-bacterial resistance and liquid attracting (super wettable)[10]

[edit]Applications, brands and licensees

Ion-mask liquid droplet plastics surface.jpg

According to P2i’s website, current applications for its technology are in the categories of ‘Electronics, Lifestyle, Life Sciences, Filtration & Energy and Military & Institutional’ [11] For consumer-facing products the company has created sector-specific trademarked brands. The ion-mask brand [12] is used in lifestyle products such as footwear, outdoor clothing and accessories (gloves and headwear). ion-mask products are on sale from several international footwear companies including Timberland,[13] Nike,[14] adidas Golf,[15] Hi-Tec,[16] Magnum Boots,[17] Van Dal,[18]Teva,[19] and K-Swiss.[20]

The Aridion brand,[21] is used in consumer electronics, focusing initially on the hearing aid sector where the company now claims to have processed over 5m devices.[22]

[edit]Locations

P2i Ltd has a head office on the MEPC Milton Park campus near Oxford, UK,[23] but there are also two wholly owned subsidiaries in the US: P2i Inc and P2i Processing Centres Inc.[24] These operate across two US facilities: a US Technology Center based at the Herty Advanced Material Development Center in Savannah, Georgia;[25] and a US Processing Centre based in Beaverton, Oregon.[26] On 14 September 2010, P2i announced the opening of an office in Singapore to serve the ASPAC region.[27]

 

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