Henkel Invests in Advanced Materials Start-up actnano


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Henkel Adhesive Technologies further enhances its market offerings for functional coatings by investing in actnano, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The advanced materials start-up provides a unique tailored conformal coatings technology for the protection of printed circuit boards in a variety of applications in growing electronics segments.

“As part of our venturing activities we are looking for novel and scalable formulated technologies providing unique benefits for growing markets,” explains Paolo Bavaj, Head of Corporate Venturing, Adhesive Technologies. “Functional coatings are a major focus topic for our Adhesive Technologies business. We are excited to work with actnano who has developed a conformal coating technology that protects entire printed circuit board systems responding to the fast-growing demands especially in automotive electronics and consumer electronics. The technology has already proven its marketability and is commercially available. Together we aim to unlock new opportunities across Henkel´s extensive customer base in these markets globally. We are pleased to have co-invested into actnano as part of a consortium led by Emerald Technology Ventures, where we are a Limited Partner.”

Founded in 2012, actnano has developed a unique commercialized technology for gel-based coatings with comprehensive waterproofing and environmental resistant properties. The materials are designed to provide superior protection to printed circuit boards including connectors, antennas, LED´s and all mounted components and provide benefits in a broad variety of fast-growing automotive electronics and consumer electronics applications. The liquid applied coatings offer a drop-in solution for existing coating lines and enable customers to increase throughputs and to significantly reduce the production costs per device. The actnano technology is hydrophobic, electrically insulating and allows electrical connection through the coating. Together with Henkel the start-up aims to further optimize waterproofing properties for tailored solutions in target markets and to scale-up the technology across the globe.

“These days, electronics run the car. We make sure the electronics keep running even after the coffee spills,” said Taymur Ahmad, CEO of actnano. “When automotive electronics like autopilot systems interact with water or other environmental aggressors the consequences can be dire. With the recent explosion of self-driving and technology-laden vehicles, a better solution for protective coatings was needed. actnano responded, creating a hydrophobic, electrically insulating coating that allows electrical connection through the coating. Since connections have historically had to remain uncoated and thus vulnerable to water damage, this innovation is an industry gamechanger.”

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