Mechanical-robust superhydrophobic powder coatings

Scientists recently presented a novel method using pre-bonded conglomerates to fabricate a robust and solvent-free superhydrophobic powder coating using an electrostatic spraying process.

Powder coating is typically applied electrostatically and then cured under heat or with ultraviolet light. Image source: Aleksel - AdobeStock (symbol image).

Superhydrophobic coatings bring about many potential benefits. e.g., water-repellency, self-cleaning property and corrosion resistance, etc. However, the durability of such coating remains an issue in the practical application. Researchers now proposed a melting pre-bonding method for synthesising a durable solvent-free superhydrophobic powder coating with a high-water contact angle of 164.9°. With this method, the nano-micro polyester (PE)-SiO2 conglomerates were formed, which involved compaction, heating, and grinding operations to bond the SiO2 nanoparticles with the PE matrix.

Improved mechanical durability

The resulting PE-5 %SiO2/PE composite coating retain its high WCA of beyond 150° after 150 abrasion cycles, presenting excellent abrasion resistance. The coating also has exceptional self-cleaning property and water bouncing behavior, as well as long-term durability when exposed to strong/weak acid/base corrosion media, NaCl solution, and UV radiation. This melting pre-bonding method increases the dispersibility and stability of nanoparticles in the fabricated superhydrophobic coating film under high-temperature melt-curing process, which is beneficial in achieving improved mechanical durability compared to the regular direct-blending method.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 182, September 2023.

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