Electrothermal coatings provide an alternative to metal-wire resistor heating cables in many heating applications. Many coatings, however, use metal fillers that have low conductivity, low sticking coefficients, and short lifetimes, which limits their application to certain surfaces.

A new electrothermal coating with multi-component nanocomposites does not require the use of metal particles. The coating is made using low-dimensional carbon nanostructures in polymer solvents for a higher bonding affinity and increased conductivity. The coating binds to a wider variety of surfaces and the conductivity of the material can be adjusted based on the application by varying nanocomposite composition and concentration. This technology requires less input energy to achieve the same output as metal-wire resistor heating cables and has potential use in home, automotive, military, and industrial applications.