Navigation Links
ORNL super water repellent could cause big wave in market
Date:11/29/2007

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 29, 2007 -- A water repellent developed by researchers at the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory outperforms nature at its best and could open a floodgate of commercial possibilities.

The super-water repellent (superhydrophobic) material, developed by John Simpson, is easy to fabricate and uses inexpensive base materials. The patent-pending process could lead to the creation of a new class of water repellant products, including windshields, eyewear, clothing, building materials, road surfaces, ship hulls and self-cleaning coatings. The list of likely applications is virtually endless.

My goal was to make the best possible water repellent surface, Simpson said. What I developed is a glass powder coating material with remarkable properties that cause water-based solutions to bounce off virtually any coated surface.

The ORNL nano-structured material maintains a microscopic layer of air on surfaces even when submerged in water, resulting in a profound change in the basic water-solid interface. Simpson likes to refer to this as the Moses effect.

Traditionally, Simpson noted that superhydrophobic coatings were expensive, were of poor water repellent quality or lacked the durability to make them practical.

Existing high-quality superhydrophobic materials are generally relegated to university research laboratories because they are difficult and expensive to produce, not scalable to large volumes and not amenable to being made into a commercially viable coating, Simpson said.

The process for making superhydrophobic glass powder is based on differentially etching of two glass phases from phase-separated glass. Simpson starts with borosilicate phase separating glass as the base material, which he heats to separate further. He then crushes this material into a powder and differentially etches the powder to completely remove the interconnected borate glass phase. Differential etching makes the powder porous and creates nanoscale sharpened features. Finally, Simpson treats the powder with a special hydrophobic solution to change the glass surface chemistry from hydrophilic to hydrophobic.

The powders porosity and nanoscale sharpened features amplify the effect of waters surface tension and causes the powder to become unwettable.

Such a superhydrophobic powder has many features and advantages, some of which include ease of manufacturing, low cost and scalability, Simpson said. The fact that the coral-like nanoscale features can be preserved as the powder grain size is reduced allows us to make very small superhydrophobic powder grains.

That translates into needing only a small amount of inexpensive superhydrophobic powder to coat a relatively large surface area.

Another feature of this powder is its thermal insulation characteristics. Water does not enter the grain pores because the powder grains are superhydrophobic. This results in a dry breathable coating with trapped insulating air throughout. And, because the powder consists almost entirely of porous amorphous silica, it also makes a very good electrical insulator. In addition, since the powder creates a layer of air between the coated substrate and any water on the surface, water-based corrosion of the substrate is greatly reduced or entirely eliminated.

Simpson believes the number of possible applications will continue to expand as more people become aware of this technology.

Staying dry in a rainstorm may only have a small personal value, Simpson said, but reducing the energy required to transport products by boat or barge or extending the life of bridges or buildings would have a great value to society and individuals alike.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Dr. Audrey F. Jakubowski of SuperGen Retires as Chief Regulatory and Quality Officer
2. SuperGen to Present at Thomas Weisel Partners Healthcare Conference September 5th
3. Superbugs, shapes and nanotechnology
4. Agendia BV Appoints Mr. Hessel Lindenbergh as Chairman of its Supervisory Board
5. Yves Lionel Assant is New Chairman of Gerresheimers Supervisory Board
6. Answers.coms WikiAnswers Supervisors Rallying for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
7. Hospitals Adopt STERIS Advanced Room Sterilization Technology in the Fight Against Superbugs
8. Innovative Fosshield(R) Antimicrobial Technology Shown to Continuously Kill MRSA Superbug
9. Using supercomputers to make safer nuclear reactors
10. Soap and Water May not be Enough to Fight MRSA Superbug
11. Zimmer Holdings Announces Support for Elimination of Super-Majority Voting Requirements
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/10/2017)... firm Parks Associates announced today that Tom Kerber , ... Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona . Kerber ... smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase Driver ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, and the introduction ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by ... Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® Foundation ... of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall ... 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical research ... and document anonymization solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is designed ... to comply with policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) ... ... Solutions ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... Va. , June 30, 2017 ... leading developer and supplier of face and eye ... ATA Featured Product provider program. ... an innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness ... greatly from being able to detect fatigue and ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), ... and identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate ... May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... Trade Center. Identity impacts the lives ... today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):