Scientists have invented a new self-cleaning and water repellant paint. The research was published in the journal Science, March edition.
Researchers from the University College London in the United Kingdom in cooperation with scientists from the Dalain University of Technology in China and the Imperial College London in the UK have invented a new type of paint that makes the surfaces it is applied on self-cleaning and water repellant.
The surfaces that get painted with the new self-cleaning and water repellant paint are very resistant to handling and abrasion and they even maintain their properties even if they are contaminated with oil.
So, what does a self-cleaning surface actually do? Well, firstly it is superhydrophobic, which means that it repels water. So, a self-cleaning surface will actually repel water, by not allowing the water to spread over it. The water simply rolls on it, cleaning the surface, by removing impurities and dirt and also viruses and bacteria.
Superhydrophobic materials have been invented before, but they are highly sensitive to abrasion. When they get scratched, they lose their superhydrophobic capabilities, which is why the invention of a new paint that is both water repellant and self-cleaning will simplify the process of making surfaces superhydrophobic.
The newly invented self-cleaning and water repellant paint is made of nanoparticles of titanium dioxide which are coated with perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane, a silicon-based fluorinated compound.
The most innovative and important aspect of this new work is that the surfaces painted with the self-cleaning and water repellant paint are very resistant to abrasion and robust. The researchers used several adhesive combinations to make a substance that showed fantastic resistance to abrasion even in cases when the surface was scratched with a knife and sand-paper.
Lead researchers and Head of the Chemistry Department of University College London, Professor Ivan Parkin explained that the surfaces coated with this new paint can be used for many more different applications where conventional self-cleaning surfaces fail to work. He continued to say that all of the tests performed on the surfaces coated with the pain showed that they can resist in harsh conditions without losing their properties.
Image Source: UCL