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AMI Offers Polymers for Seal-Healing Coatings Technologies

By Kerry Pianoforte, Editor | June 26, 2013

AMI supplies microencapsulated self-healing additives to coatings manufacturers for use in their coating products. AMI's products add self-healing functionality to a wide range of coating chemistries.

Autonomic Materials (AMI) offers innovative self-healing technologies that extend coating lifetimes, minimizing upkeep and repair.  AMI supplies microencapsulated self-healing additives to coatings manufacturers for use in their coating products.  AMI's products add self-healing functionality to a wide range of coating chemistries, including; solvent- and water-based liquid formulations and a variety of powder coatings.

“The company was founded in 2005 by Dr. Scott White and several colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the foremost experts in the field of microencapsulated self-healing materials,” said Joe Giuliani, CEO, Autonomic Materials, Inc. “After founding the company, venture capital was raised to fund AMI's ongoing operations.  This initial funding effort was led by Illinois Ventures in 2008.  AMI subsequently completed multiple rounds of funding, with the latest round completed in September of 2012 with an investment from Phoenix Venture partners.  While AMI holds the exclusive license for microencapsulated self-healing polymers targeted for the coatings market, it also holds the exclusive license for use in the adhesive and sealant markets.”

AMI provides a solution targeting the more than $700 billion annual cost of worldwide corrosion-related damage. 

“AMI's technology adds self-healing protection to critical, high value metal structures which are exposed to harsh environmental conditions,” said Giuliani.  “The microencapsulated self-healing agents deliver an autonomic healing response precisely when required; immediately at the time and site of damage, and without the need for human intervention.  The systems are designed to lengthen coating lifetimes, thereby reducing maintenance and substrate replacement costs, while limiting the downtime associated with recoating.  By healing potential corrosion-producing damage before corrosion occurs or progresses, the scope and cost of scheduled maintenance is significantly reduced and assets remain operational for extended periods.”

AMI has ambitious plans for the future. The company currently has eight employees and is actively recruiting additional staff at this time. AMI has ongoing product development projects in a number of key markets including  marine, oil and gas, industrial maintenance, automotive, OEM (machinery and equipment), military, infrastructure and consumer products. AMI's current coatings development projects are split, approximately 65 percent with coating manufacturers and 35 percent with large end-users.

AMI has successfully developed four self-healing products targeted for use in the coatings market.  “We are currently engaged with our partners in coatings development projects for all four products and have produced and sold two of the products to date,” said Giuliani.  “We are in the process of ramping up production for all four products to be used in both, advanced field test trials and new commercial coating introductions.”

AMI is focusing its R&D efforts on not only self-healing coatings, but also the adhesives and sealants markets.

“Ongoing R&D efforts are focused on developing and characterizing new self-healing systems for demanding steel applications, aluminum substrates as well as non-metal adhesive and sealant applications,” added Giuliani. “AMI will continue to work with our coatings customers to bring a wide variety of self-healing coatings to market.  At the same time, we will begin to ramp up our development and commercialization activities in the adhesives and sealants markets.”

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