Environmentally Friendly Oligomer Protects Sensitive Surfaces Such As Teeth and Wires
This environmentally friendly urethane oligomer polymerizes to form a large number of possible protective coatings for applications in food packaging, restorative dentistry, corrosion-resistant coatings and medical devices. University of Florida researchers have developed these oligomers that can be tuned for specific functions ranging from simple hydrophobic molecules to complex hydrophilic as well as drug eluting compounds. These oligomers also add an environmentally friendly aspect in their synthetic route that incorporates carbon dioxide.
Flexible protective coating that stabilizes surfaces from hydrolysis and water absorption
- Lowers toxicity of polymer production, protecting the environment
- Lowers the cost of manufacture, providing a competitive advantage
- Repels water, protecting water sensitive surfaces like gold, wire, and paint
- Lasts longer, providing an efficient protective coating for numerous applications
Urethane dimethacrylates are usually synthesized using diisocyanates, highly toxic reactants. This urethane oligomer is functionalized with less toxic methacrylate groups, additionally enabling polymerization of the oligomer. Prior to polymerization, the oligomer can undergo several reactions impacting its final properties. By reaction with fluorine and other hydrophobic chemical groups, the oligomer forms a hydrophobic coating upon polymerization that is ideal to protect sensitive surfaces such as enamel, gold, wire, and paint. The unique oligomer structure allows fine-tuning in final polymer properties, enabled by the addition of differing functional groups including amines, epoxides, and maleic anhydride.