Coating Repellent that Maintains Clean Surfaces and Prevents Water Damage

Technology #11326

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Researchers
Wolfgang M. Sigmund
Joachim Spatz
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 7,851,056

Transforms Paint and Other Surface Coatings into Dirt and Water Repellents

This coating technology causes treated surfaces to repel dust, dirt and liquids, making them easy to clean and impervious to water damage. Cleaning or repairing dirty or water-damaged surfaces such as walls, windows, and automobiles can be time-consuming and costly. Several products have been developed that cause treated surfaces to repel dirt and water, but these products often do not work in practical applications because they rub off or scratch easily. They can actually make dirt mixed with oil and grease more difficult to remove. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a coating technology that effectively overcomes these deficiencies, and can be incorporated into a variety of products, including paint.

Application

Surface coating that repels dust, dirt and liquids

Advantages

  • Can be incorporated inexpensively into a variety of products, including paint and other surface coatings, providing wide-ranging market potential
  • Can be used effectively on a variety of smooth or rough surfaces, including windows, walls, and automobile surfaces, ensuring broad and flexible application
  • Successfully overcomes the disadvantages of available products, offering significant competitive advantage and tremendous profit potential

Technology

Most available surface coatings employ the Lotus effect, which relies on surfaces displaying micro- or nano-roughness. As a result, these products are unstable on smooth surfaces, rubbing off or scratching easily, and make dirt mixed with oil and grease more difficult to remove. This technology overcomes these deficiencies by employing the Plastron effect, which is based on covering surfaces with high aspect ratio elastic materials such as polymers, carbon nanotubes, or ceramic nanofibers. The surfaces repel dirt and liquids because the approaching matter bends the flexible surface coating, but cannot penetrate, the elastic materials. The treated surface becomes completely hydrophobic (repelling water) and lyophobic (repelling all organic liquids). Moreover, dust and other microscopic particles refuse to adhere to the surface, and thus can easily be removed.



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