Breathing coatings

Better breathing coatings thanks to thermo-responsive polymers

Are you sweating while you are working, exercising or delivering any other form of physical effort? Of course you are! And, the hotter it gets, the harder you will sweat. That’s why Centexbel came up with the idea to develop a coating that not only breaths, but that adapts the breathing performance to changing temperatures… And, that’s exactly what we did!


Let’s have a look at the figures: the graph compares the performances of the coating developed by Centexbel (burgundy) with the ones of a Gore membrane (black) and of a reference product (grey).

If the ambient temperature rises from 20°C to 40°C, the water vapour permeability of both the Gore membrane and the reference product decrease.

The Centexbel coating remains stable and has the best water vapour permeability behaviour in an ambient temperature of 40°C.

How may we explain this stable behaviour of our coating?

By combining specific products we obtained a micro-porous structure with pores between 1 to 5µm, as can be seen on the “scanning electron” microscopic image.


Due to the intrinsic thermo-responsive properties of the applied polymers, based on a PEO-PPO copolymer, the water vapour permeability becomes temperature dependent.

We have described this thermo-responsive coating in patent application WO2011138030 (introduced in collaboration with Universiteit Gent).