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

ng 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.


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

Page: 1 2

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