Preparation of water-borne non-fluorinated anti-smudge surfaces and their applications

A novel liquid-repellent surface system has been developed and the dewetting behavior of various liquids on this coating surface has been investigated.

Fingerprints on a surface as symbol image.

Existing approaches for the preparation of anti-smudge surfaces are prominently confined to the use of fluorinated materials and highly toxic organic solvents. Smooth water-borne non-fluorinated anti-smudge surfaces are highly desirable for their high safety, low cost and environmental friendliness. They could also address the challenges plagued by the deficiencies in long-term stability, durability, and scalability existing in present coating systems.

Remarkable chemical shielding ability

Scientists now have developed a novel smooth non-fluorinated anti-smudge system by crosslinking the hydrophilic groups in two water-borne components. The resultant surfaces are highly transparent, and they show striking anti-smudge performance toward various liquids, including water, hexadecane, diiodomethane, decane, ethanol, etc. Besides, these surfaces demonstrate remarkable chemical shielding ability against acid solution and alkali solution and thus protect substrates against exposure to harsh chemical environments.

Also, they exhibit self-healing ability against chemical and physical damages. Compared with commercial fluorinated amphiphobic surface and superhydrophobic surface, these non-fluorinated surfaces show incomparable advantages in anti-smudge performance, pump oil and crude oil droplets could slide off the surface without leaving any traces.

Furthermore, these surfaces could be applied for anti-graffiti and anti-fingerprint purposes due to their outstanding anti-smudge performance toward water-borne and oil-borne paints, ink, and artificial fingerprint liquid. More strikingly, they could maintain anti-smudge performance even after being subjected to long-term UV irradiation and physical damages, such as impact and scratch, indicative of the remarkable weathering resistance and the outstanding mechanical durability of these coating surfaces.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 142, May 2020.

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