Sol-Gel is chemical manufacturing process that uses a gel to distribute metal particles evenly. After application, the gel is then dried, which removes the liquid from the gel. The material left over is porous, and may be thermally treated to strengthen and condense it.
Sol-Gel can be used to spin-coat or dip-coat materials, leaving a thin, even metallic film. It can also be used with ceramics, glass fibers and other materials to cast solid objects. The sol-gel process is also sometimes used to make powders used in manufacturing. Here are some of the benefits:
1. Some forms of sol-gel coating are transparent, allowing you to clearly see printed information, circuitry and other important items even if they're protected with the sol-gel materials.
2. Similar to Teflon, sol-gel coatings can act as a dry lubricant, eliminating the need for liquid applications.
3. The sol-gel production process can be used with other materials than metal. Silica and other compounds are sometimes used to give coated or cast items unique properties, such as corrosion resistance.
Apply sol-gel coatings for insulation, mechanical protection and lubricationSol-gel products are used to coat medical tools and protect against moisture, chemicals and bio-fluids. Other uses include protecting circuits from contaminants and lubricating small parts. Depending on the size and complexity of the part, sol-gel can be masked and then tumble-coated to minimize handling and provide uniform coverage.
Produce unique types of glass and glass coatings with sol-gel equipmentAlthough the creation process requires firing, sol-gel can be used to create bubble-free sol-gel glass objects easily with very low investment and operation costs. In addition, these products can be coated with sol-gel solutions to give glass thermal, mechanical and corrosion resistance. With a custom hybrid glass material, you can create glass resistant to chemical corrosion, heat or water for virtually any use.
Buy chemicals to apply sol-gel techniquesTypically, sol-gel technology requires many different types of chemicals to use the process from start to finish. Some chemical companies specialize in sol-gel supplies and offer their own ready-to-use solutions and formulas that save time and effort when applying the sol-gel process during manufacturing.
- The method of drying your sol-gel solution determines what you'll get. Different ways of drying can produce powders, solid materials, aerogels, fibers, thin layers or films. This can be useful if you find you need another part in a different form of the same material.