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Home  > Raw materials & technologies  > Technologies  > Functional coatings  > Nanocoating can repel any kind of liquid

Thursday, 24 October 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Functional coatings

Nanocoating can repel any kind of liquid

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

University of Michigan scientists have developed a coating that could lead to stain-resistant clothes, breathable garments to protect from chemicals, and waterproof marine paints.

A new coating developed at the University of Michigan can repel virtually any liquid and could lead to breathable protective wear for soldiers and scientists, as well as stain-proof garments

Source: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing
A new coating developed at the University of Michigan can repel virtually any liquid and could lead to breathable protective wear for soldiers and...

A nanoscale coating consisting of at least 95 percent air repels the broadest range of liquids of any material in its class, causing them to bounce off the treated surface, according to the University of Michigan engineering researchers who developed it.

In addition to super stain-resistant clothes, the coating could lead to breathable garments to protect soldiers and scientists from chemicals, and advanced waterproof paints that dramatically reduce drag on ships.

Surface repelled coffee, oil and acids

Anish Tuteja, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, chemical engineering and macromolecular science and engineering, and his colleagues tested more than 100 liquids and found only two that were able to penetrate the coating. They were chlorofluorocarbons - chemicals used in refrigerators and air conditioners. In Tuteja's lab, the surface repelled coffee, soy sauce and vegetable oil, as well as toxic hydrochloric and sulfuric acids that could burn skin. Tuteja says it is also resistant to gasoline and various alcohols.

To apply the coating, the researchers use a technique called electrospinning that uses an electric charge to create fine particles of solid from a liquid solution. So far, they've coated small tiles of screen and postage-stamp-sized swaths of fabric.

Material texture hugs pore structure of the surface

The coating is a mixture of rubbery plastic particles of "polydimethylsiloxane”, or PDMS, and liquid-resisting nanoscale cubes developed by the Air Force that contain carbon, fluorine, silicon and oxygen. The material's chemistry is important, but so is its texture. It hugs the pore structure of whatever surface it's being applied to, and it also creates a finer web within those pores. This structure means that between 95 and 99 percent of the coating are actually air pockets, so any liquid that comes in contact with the coating is barely touching a solid surface.

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