Incorporating metal-oxide nanoparticles such as nano-alumina and nano-silica into polymer coatings to enhance mechanical durability is widely utilized in the current antiscratch and mar technologies. In this article, a quantitative study of the effect of a nano-alumina additive on the surface mechanical properties and scratch behavior of a two-part polyurethane coating is reported. An instrumented indenter with a conical diamond tip is used to measure surface mechanical properties (modulus and hardness) and to perform scratch tests, over a wide range of scratch loads. The scratch behavior in terms of the onset of elastic–plastic transition and scratch morphology were characterized by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The scratch results were correlated to the surface mechanical properties and relevant bulk material properties to understand the overall scratch behavior of the coatings. The results show that the scratch behavior of the coatings depends strongly on the concentration of nano-alumina.
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Sung, LP., Comer, J., Forster, A.M. et al. Scratch behavior of nano-alumina/polyurethane coatings. J Coat Technol Res 5, 419–430 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11998-008-9110-z