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Friday, 20 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Raw materials, Coatings binders

A paint more than stain-resistant takes off gunk

Monday, 27 August 2012

How can a coating slough off grease, dirt, strong acids and other gunk? Chemists report that a new coating is even more water-repellent than car wax or Teflon.

Scientist developed a coating for cotton with a very high water repellency

Source: Fotolia/Andrey_Maltsev

Scientist developed a coating for cotton with a very high water repellency

Source: Fotolia/Andrey_Maltsev

Tong Lin  and colleagues developed a way to stabilise layers with UV light to form a "superhydrophobic” coating, one that uses natural surface forces to highly repel water and other materials.

Surface treatment for clothing

Laboratory tests showed that the new coating, applied to cotton fabric, repelled water, acids, bases and organic solvents. The coating also was durable, remaining intact on the cotton fabric after 50 trips through a home washing machine. When the researchers applied several layers of the coating on the fabric, the contact angle (a measure of water-repellence) was about 154 °C, making it even more repellent than car wax (90° contact angle), Teflon (95° contact angle) or products that repel rainwater from car windshields (110° contact angle).

Self-assembled films

Lin and colleagues explain in the American Chemical Society journal Langmuir, that a method called "layer-by-layer” (LbL) self-assembly produces films and coatings for sensors, drug-delivery devices and many other products. LbL involves setting down alternate layers of positively and negatively charged materials that are held together by electric charges. With this approach, coatings can be custom-designed for specific applications by selecting the composition of each layer. The downside: These multilayer films are not very stable and eventually come apart.

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