Hard coatings exhibiting photochromic properties were prepared by UV-curing of formulations that incorporated surface-modified silica nanoparticles, hexa-functional curing agent, and organic dye (spironaphthooxazine) on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) substrates. Spectroscopic studies of the coatings indicated effective photochromic activities over the visible range in response to UV irradiation (365 nm). The color density and bleaching performance were found to depend on the silica and dye contents in the coatings; generally, increasing either quantity could increase the color density and raise the initial bleaching rate, and yet it took a longer time to completely bleach the coatings. Furthermore, the coatings were very hard (8H), attached perfectly (5B) on the substrate, and were much more wear-resistant than pure PMMA against the CS-10 abradant.
Journal of Coatings Technology and Research 15 (2), p.325-332