Highly transparent coatings for self-cleaning applications

A recent research work concerns the facile synthesis of highly transparent, hydrophobic, durable, and self-cleaning coatings as an alternative to fluorine-based coatings used on glass.

A foggy surface is caused by the condensed droplets scattering the visible incident light. Consequently Image source:  Rupert Kittinger-Sereinig - Pixabay (symbol image).

The developed coating is produced by a chemical route (sol–gel method) using two silica-based precursors, hexamethyldisilazane, and tetraethoxysilane (HMDS/TEOS). Then, the prepared Gel HMDS/TEOS was deposited on glass slides by the dip-coating technique. Afterward, the effects of mechanical durability, water-drop testing, thermal cycling testing, and aging times on the hydrophobicity of the gel were analysed.

High self-cleaning performance

The results show that the organic modification of the gel by trimethylsilyl (–Si–(CH3)3) groups leads to a homogeneous and a hydrophobic surface. Sufficient dilution of this gel with ethanol has been found to provide a highly transparent coating without losing its hydrophobic property. In addition, the robust and durable coating exhibits high self-cleaning performance suitable for various industrial applications.

The study has been published in Journal of Coatings Technology and Research, Volume 18, 2021.

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