Today we want to get closer to another of the innovative advances that we work on Atria Innovation and we consider of great interest: superhydrophobic coatings, used mainly to create surfaces that repel water and other liquids and thus prolong the useful life of many materials.
Most surfaces are designed to work in dry conditions and inevitably water and other liquids can degrade and limit the durability of these, as in the case of construction, electronics, industrial environments, etc.
superhydrophobic a surface, the angle of contact of the water with it must be greater than 120 degrees, maximizing the effect of surface tension and making it an area that is impossible to wet. Thus, water, liquid oils, bacteria or even ice would slide directly onto the coated surface without being affected.
MAIN ADVANTAGES OF SUPERHYDROFOFF COATINGS
In addition to waterproofing surfaces and avoiding the action of water and other liquids, superhydrophobic coatings have other very interesting qualities for industry and construction, especially where machinery, tools and equipment can be in severe environmental conditions.
Self-cleaning: A rusty or dirty equipment is not only more difficult to use but may be rendered useless. The cleaning improves notably with the super-hydrophobicity, also known like “lotus effect“, since the water drags the dust and the dirt and this, as it is repelled by the surface, simply moves. This means considerable economic and ecological savings in cleaning tasks.
In Atria we have applied superhydrophobic coatings through immersion for aluminum filters in order to avoid the accumulation of dust particles and contamination in them.
Anti-ice: Ice accumulation can cause significant damage, ruining electrical equipment, disrupting the work of a machine and even endangering third parties. The repair can be very expensive, so it is very interesting to prevent its passage using superhydrophobic coatings.
An example of its application in Atria is the work on superhydrophobic coatings with anti-icing function through spreading for concrete walls, turning them into insulation and self-cleaning.
Condensation: When you seek to improve visibility on transparent surfaces that suffer from condensation, you usually work with superhydrophobic surfaces that repel water, but there are also coatings that do exactly the opposite: attract the drops forming a homogeneous water film that allows visibility And prevents condensation.
At Atria we worked on the application of superhydrophobic coatings with silicon based supercrossing agents with high abrasion durability for the increase of condensation in stainless steel.
Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU