Coatings development

Coatings are very thin layers applied onto a thicker substrate. Despite their limited thickness, coatings generally allow improving one or more property of the base material. In food packaging, coatings can be found onto plastic films, cellulosic materials, or glass objects.

Early coatings were obtained from petrol-based polymers in organic solvents. Especially due to employers’ health and safety reasons, these coatings have been gradually replaced by a new generation of waterborne coatings, which limit the massive dump of organic solvents in the     air. The latest innovation in the coating field deals with the use of biomacromolecules as raw materials, according to the increasing request      for greener solutions and the consumers’ sensitivity to the ecological issues.

In line with this trend, also my research activity focuses on the development of new coatings by physico-chemical approaches.                        Many different patterns have been obtained so far, some of them already on the market. In particular, the main targeted applications          concern coatings able to enhance the barrier, optical, mechanical and antimicrobial properties of the substrate (usually plastics).