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Advanced Materials Components Express

Replacement for Parylene® and

Teflon® Coatings on Stainless
and Ceramic Components

The Surface Energy Modified AMC148-18

Coating System for Metals and Ceramics: A
Durable, Thin, Conformal Surface with
Extremely Low Non-specific Protein Binding

© 2002 AMCX
Surface Energy Modified AMC141-18
A proven upgrade from PTFE and Parylene Coatings
Background: Inertness and Friction Control

Parylene is a thermoplastic which can be deposited on various substrates

to form a nearly uniform, continuous layer. It is generally inert and has a
low coefficient of friction. However, there are several key limitations
inherent to parylene, which may make it unsuitable for applications that
are subject to friction, pressure, heat or thermal cycling.

Parylene is very soft. It has a low durometer value and has the
approximate hardness of human skin. A very soft coating is easy to
damage during routine handling, and any scratch to the surface of the
substrate defeats the coating system entirely. Parylene is inert and has
very few active sites to form intra-molecular bonds with other chemicals—
this is why parylene is considered a “nonstick” surface of sorts. However,
the fundamental problem with this property is that since nothing sticks to
the surface, it is hard to get parylene to adhere to the substrate; in reality,
parylene does not bond well to the substrate to surface it is applied to. In
an application where any force is applied perpendicular to the weak
surface bond, as in the case of sliding friction, the parylene coating has a
tendency to dislodge from the substrate; this is known as a poor creep
characteristic. Also, parylene has a very low coefficient of thermal
expansion. When applied to a substrate with a moderate degree of
thermal expansion (i.e., stainless steel), thermal cycling can create shear
stress in the already weak bonds between the parylene and the steel
surface causing failure of the coating system. Parylene application
sometimes requires temperatures high enough to introduce metallurgic
stresses in metal substrates and cause weaknesses and physical
distortions or deviation from metric specifications. Finally, parylene has a
fairly low thermal limitation endpoint in that it sublimates and decomposes
to the vapor monomer at low temperature,

Teflon polytetrafluoroethlyene (PTFE) exhibits many of the same

limitations of parylene. While PTFE is inert, adhesion is problematic. It is
difficult to make thin conformal coatings (impossible, in fact, on the inner
diameters of small deep recesses such as small bore tubing), and PTFE is
very soft and easily damaged through normal handling.
There is a decided need for a surface treatment to provide for inertness
and chemical resistivity, while addressing the need for a more robust
material to resist friction and have good wear characteristics.

AMC141-18 Properties

AMC141 is a hard material. In the AMCX process, the AMC141 surface is

strongly diffusion bonded to the substrate. AMC141 is resistant to most
chemicals, all known solvents, most bases, and with the exception of hot
hydrofluoric, all acids as well. In fact, once applied, there is no practical
method of removing the AMC141 surface from the substrate without the
partial destruction of the substrate. Friction is reduced in the same
manner as using a jewel for a bearing in a precision watch: two ultra-hard
contacting surfaces do not easily wear. No lubrication is necessary if the
surfaces are ultra-hard. The hard properties of AMC141 make it an
effective anti-abrasion tool to reduce wear on critical parts and extend the
working life of an OEM.

AMC141 is also very heat resistant, and it is very resistant to oxidation.

The AMC141 surface may be comfortably used at temperatures over
1000°C, and it has an upper working limit of 1700°C, or more than 3000°F.
The AMCX processing temperature for the AMC141 system is safely
below significant metallurgical points in ferrous metals. AMC141 is an
approved material for surgical implantation and has FDA G.R.A.S.
designation. It does not react with proteins or hemoglobin and can be
autoclaved and chemically sterilized. It is suitable for microwave or
gamma ray sterilization. AMC141 has a refractive index close to that of
water and is optically transparent in most of the visible spectrum. As
applied, it is clear to slightly hazy, providing a very durable protective
coating to polished stainless. AMC141 is routinely applied to deep, small
bore inside diameters and uniform conformal surfaces.

The Surface Modification of AMC141

The critical surface tension is the primary criterion for wettability by a liquid
on the surface of any object. In effect, a liquid will bead up and roll off of a
material with a critical surface tension that is less than the critical surface
tension of the liquid. If the surface tension of the surface is greater than
the surface tension of the liquid, then the liquid will “wet” the surface.
Teflon and parylene have very low surface tensions in relation to liquids
which come in contact with them; however, a small scratch or nick in the
polymer coating will create sites where sample retention or carry over will
occur on the treated surface. AMC141, as applied, has a medium surface
tension value. In applications where the surface tension is an issue,
AMCX modifies the AMC141 surface to lower the critical surface tension

by bonding a tough, low surface energy oligomer to the surface that we
call AMC18. The low surface energy oligomer molecule is altered to make
it polar, or 2-sided, and the active side of the molecule is bonded to the
AMC141, leaving the inert moieties of the oligomer facing away from the
substrate. (The oligomer is then cross-linked to further condense and
strengthen the bond with the substrate.) These low surface energy
moieties create the low critical surface energy of the coating. AMC141-18
is essentially inert and non-reactive, and is suitable for use in acids,
solvents and most liquids. It is hydrophobic, lipophobic, does not bind to
hemoglobin, and has extremely low non specific protein binding
characteristics. It will withstand most cleaning methods, it can be sterilized
by autoclave, chemical, or other methods. AMC141-18 is applied in an
environmentally benign manufacturing method and can be scaled up
indefinitely. The AMC141-18 surface system adds approximately 1500
Angstroms (0.15 microns) to the surface of the substrate to be treated,
and tolerances are extremely reproducible. The AMC141-18 system can
be applied to the inner diameter of capillary tubing AMC141-18 is a
standard surface system at AMCX, applied to tens of thousands of items
each year.

Property AMC148-18 Teflon® Parylene®

Hardness hard soft soft

Wear resistance/handling ease excellent poor poor

Temperature resistance 350°C 300°C 350°C

Color clear white Gray/white

Conformal coatings in small diameters excellent impossible Fair/

Environmentally sound processing yes fluorine xylene

Chemical resistance excellent excellent** good**

Adhesion to polished stainless steel excellent poor poor

and ceramics

Scalable to large production absolutely poor poor

Critical surface tension very low very low** very low**

Critical Surface Energy 14-18 dynes/cm 16 dynes/cm 20 dynes/cm

Processing limitations for stainless none poor adhesion poor adhesion

** As long as there are no nicks or scratches in the coating. A defect to the surface
negates any protection from corrosion, a problem with Teflon and Parylene coatings.

The AMC141-18 Surface System

The AMC141-18 surface system can be applied to stainless steel and

many other metals including precious metals and precious metal alloys
such as sterling silver and 18 carat gold. The AMC141-18 surface exhibits
superior non-specific protein binding characteristics and is successfully
used in genomic research and drug discovery. AMC141-18 does not
readily combine with hemoglobin and provides an inert and non-reactive
surface. AMC141-18 surfaces are far less likely to adsorb or breakdown
thiols and hydrocarbons and have found use in analysis and sampling.
The extremely low surface energy of AMC141-18 makes the treated
surface hydrophobic, providing for improved accuracy in delivery with
markedly less carryover; in addition, less surface energy makes for
enhanced cleaning capability and rinse effectiveness. Finally, the
AMC141-18 surface system is routinely applied to the inner diameters of
very small capillary tubing—something impossible for Parylene or Teflon.

The AMC141-18 surface system is durable, ultra low energy, ultra low
nonspecific protein binding, non-adsorbing surface which is routinely
applied to metals and ceramics for chemical isolation, non-binding of
protein and hemoglobin in biologic systems and anaylsis, and for
hydrophobic characteristics.

Advanced Materials Components Express

P.O. Box 64
Bellefonte PA 16823