Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > ORNL super water repellent could cause big wave in market

Abstract:
A water repellent developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory outperforms nature at its best and could open a floodgate of commercial possibilities.

ORNL super water repellent could cause big wave in market

OAK RIDGE, TN | Posted on November 29th, 2007

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 powder's porosity and nanoscale sharpened features amplify the effect of water's 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."

####

About Oak Ridge National Laboratory
UT-Battelle manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy. Simpson is a member of the Engineering Science and Technology Division. This research was funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ron Walli
Communications and External Relations
865.576.0226

Copyright © Oak Ridge National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Marine/Watercraft

Promising sensors for submarines, mines and spacecraft: MSU scientists are developing nanostructured gas sensors that would work at room temperature November 10th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Transparent gel-based robots can catch and release live fish: Made from hydrogel, robots may one day assist in surgical operations, evade underwater detection February 2nd, 2017

NIST-made 'sun and rain' used to study nanoparticle release from polymers October 5th, 2016

Discoveries

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Untangling DNA: Researchers filter the entropy out of nanopore measurements December 8th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

A new product to help combat mouldy walls, thanks to technology developed at the ICN2 December 14th, 2017

Creating a new kind of metallic glass December 7th, 2017

Copper will replace toxic palladium and expensive platinum in the synthesis of medications: The effectiveness of copper nanoparticles as a catalyst has been proven December 5th, 2017

Chinese market opens up for Carbodeon nanodiamonds: Carbodeon granted Chinese Patent for Nanodiamond-containing Thermoplastic Thermal Compounds December 4th, 2017

Announcements

A new product to help combat mouldy walls, thanks to technology developed at the ICN2 December 14th, 2017

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

A new product to help combat mouldy walls, thanks to technology developed at the ICN2 December 14th, 2017

Chinese market opens up for Carbodeon nanodiamonds: Carbodeon granted Chinese Patent for Nanodiamond-containing Thermoplastic Thermal Compounds December 4th, 2017

Picosunís ALD nanolaminates improve lifetime and reliability of electronic circuit boards October 24th, 2017

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Automotive/Transportation

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Chinese market opens up for Carbodeon nanodiamonds: Carbodeon granted Chinese Patent for Nanodiamond-containing Thermoplastic Thermal Compounds December 4th, 2017

The next generation of power electronics? Gallium nitride doped with beryllium: How to cut down energy loss in power electronics? The right kind of doping November 9th, 2017

Textiles/Clothing

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Carbodeon demonstrates NanoDiamond nickel coatings with enhanced tribological properties June 7th, 2017

New ultrafast flexible and transparent memory devices could herald new era of electronics April 1st, 2017

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Construction

The next generation of power electronics? Gallium nitride doped with beryllium: How to cut down energy loss in power electronics? The right kind of doping November 9th, 2017

Corrosion in real time: UCSB researchers get a nanoscale glimpse of crevice and pitting corrosion as it happens September 14th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Russian scientists create new system of concrete building structures: Sientists of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University developed a new construction technology April 24th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project