The US Army’s Hyperbranched Polymers spontaneously segregate to deliver active materials to the surface of a coating (A) compared to homogeneous distribution in a bulk system (B).

Macromolecular Transport Hyperbranched Polymers for Improved Paints and Surface Coatings

The US Army Research Laboratory seeks a partner to commercialize a platform technology that controls the distribution of additives and active ingredients in a variety of paint and coating systems

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Technology Description

Background & Technology:

The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has demonstrated and patented a platform for spontaneously-segregating additives that migrate to the surface of a coating. This segregation reduces the total quantity of additive required to achieve high concentration at the surface and minimizes the impact of the additive on the bulk properties of the coating.

Hyperbranched polymers (HBP) are modified with fluorinated/aliphatic chains that buoy the molecule to the surface of a coating. The HBPs can also incorporate a variety of anchors for adhesion in the coating and are engineered to deliver particular ionic species, bio-reactive sites, or catalysts to the coating surface without leaching. Efficacy has been demonstrated in polyurethane, polyurea, and epoxy systems. Validated concepts include waterproofing and antimicrobial applications. Transport of additives to the surface has been increased 10-30x or more over bulk additives. The technique was proven compatible with existing coating system and MilSpecs.


  • Broad Platform Technology: Technology supports a wide range of paints and coatings, including anti- fouling marine coatings, pool coatings, medical coatings, and wood treatments; proven effectiveness in water dispersion and antimicrobial activity in several polymer systems
  • Demonstrated Efficacy: Demonstrated repeatable 10x self-segregation of active components to the air/polymer interface in coatings over a variety of applications, including a low volatile organic chemical thermoplastic polyurethane military coating
  • Flexible Chemistry: The hyperbranched polymer scaffold is adaptable to deliver a myriad of reactive species to the air/polymer interface in a multitude of paint and coating systems

Status and Opportunity:

  • Issued US Patent 7,560,520 available for license
  • Potential for collaboration with Army Research Laboratory researchers

Supplemental Technical Information:

For more information, contact:
Austin Leach, PhD | | (406) 994 7707

Licensing Instructions:

In order to apply for license to federally owned technologies, regulations require that specific information be provided regarding your company and plans for commercialization. This information will be incorporated in a license agreement which will be provided for your review prior to signature. All provided information will be considered proprietary and held confidential.

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