P2i Leads in Hydrophobic Nano Coatings
When nanotechnology became a mainstream term around 2004, one company was a very visible provider of nanotechnology solutions that consumers could purchase at department stores nationwide. Nano-tex was the first company to market nanotechnology solutions for textiles in the form of pants that were said to be more stain resistant than anything else available. A company that is making great strides in the area of nanotechnology-enabled liquid repellents today is UK based P2i.
P2i was established in 2004 in order to commercialize technologies developed by the UK Ministry of Defense. In 2010 the company increased their IP portfolio to 65 patent families with the acquisition of Surface Innovations, a UK company with 17 patent families that focus on anti-bacterial resistance and liquid attraction. Investors in the Company include Swarraton Partners, NAXOS Capital Partners, Porton Capital Limited, Unilever Ventures, OMBU Group, the Rainbow Seed Fund, the UK Ministry of Defense, and Durham University. The company has offices in the US, UK, and China.
Technology and Products
The technology uses plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to deposit a very thin layer of polymer onto the surface of various products. At 1000 times thinner than a human hair, the coating does not interfere with product functionality or appearance. The below impressive demo video from P2i shows a treated tissue that is unable to absorb water and most impressively, a Samsung S3 with no back on the phone left in water while remaining fully functional. In the demo, the phone could be left in the water for 6 hours only because at that point the battery would run out.
While the demo shows an application in electronics, the Company is targeting a total of five different sectors:
- Electronics: The company’s Dunkable technology can be applied to electronic devices and is both cost-effective and scalable. P2i has coated over 5 million hearing aids to date and is now working with pioneering electronics brands to integrate the technology into the manufacturing process for a variety of electronics devices.
- Lifestyle: P2i’s ion-mask water repellent technology is currently used in shoes offered by footwear manufacturers such as Timberland, Tiva, Hi-Tec, Adidas Golf, and Nike.
- Life Sciences: The Company’s hydrophobic nano-coating is used by leading biotechnology equipment manufacturers to reduce the loss of expensive reagents and samples.
- Filtration and Energy: P2i is looking to displace or improve upon the use of ePTFE in various applications. The most popular brand name for ePTFE is Teflon, a household name manufactured by Dupont.
- Military and Institutional: Given that P2i’s technology was originally developed by the UK Ministry of Defense while investigating the application of it in protective clothing against chemical attacks, there are many potential applications in this area.
While P2i is currently privately held, it certainly merits watching should the Company decide to float giving public investors an insight into their financial progress and an opportunity to invest in what seems to be a very promising technology.
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