China hoping to market advanced rare-earth coatings

A heat-insulating coating developed by Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute could be applied to glass surfaces to cool indoor temperatures in residential and office buildings within hours, and reduce building energy consumption by 25-40%, it claims

China hoping to market advanced rare-earth coatings
A research institute in Baotou, the home of China's rare earth industry, claims to have invented a glass insulation coating that could provide major savings in terms of energy consumption. Image: AFP.

(ATF) A recent announcement in Baotou, the city hailed as China’s rare earth capital, took on a patriotic air with a new state project that aims to "break the monopoly of Japan, Europe and the USA".

Companies in Baotou produce and process an estimated 84% of the country's rare earth resources and nearly 40% of the world's rare earth resources. 

A report by Jiemian News on January 11 said Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute has reached a technology transfer agreement with a technology company in Chengdu. The Institute plans to invest startup funding of 20 million yuan (just over $3 million) in the first phase of a plan to construct a trial nano-thermal insulation slurry production line for rare-earth elements. The 800-kilogram demonstration line would be the first ever built in the country.

According to Lu Fei, a senior engineer at the Rare Earth Research Institute, they want to create a material that can be applied to glass coatings, as product performance indicators have shown they are even better than similar foreign products. 

This technology could also be widely used in EVA, PVB, TPU and other laminated glass films, or for automobile windows or windshields, and other uses, Lu Fei said. It can effectively shield ultra-violet and infra-red rays, and has many advantages, such as good heat insulation and transparency.

The report also said the “EASYTO·1098 heat-insulating rare earth glass coating” developed by Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute could be applied to a glass surface to quickly cool indoor temperatures in residential and office buildings within three hours, with a maximum adjustable temperature of 7C-15C. Studies suggested it could reduce building energy consumption by 25-40%.

Xinhua, state media outlet,Xinhua reported that core technologies such as thermal insulation glass coating had always been controlled by developed countries or regions such as the United States, Japan and Europe.

After the project is put into production, it could not only fill the "domestic gap" in this field and replace imported products. It could also break the monopoly that companies in the United States, Japan and Europe have on glass coatings and promote the progress of Chinese industries.

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