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Title: New assessment criteria for durability evaluation of highly repellent surfaces
Author: Wojdyla-Cieslak, Anna Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 6685
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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Highly repellent surfaces are constantly being sought in a number of industrial sectors, where accumulation of unwanted material (ice, debris, insects etc…) can cause seriously detrimental effects on these function. The chemistry and physics of such surfaces is relatively well-understood, yet their industrial adoption is still very limited, due to their poor durability. Emerging technologies for nanostructured coatings have significant potential for the development of advanced surfaces, where high repellency can be combined with mechanical robustness. However, lack of understanding of the wear mechanism in such coatings and lack of recognised test methodologies to enable comparison of various approaches hinders effective progress in advanced surfaces development. Furthermore, there is no comprehensive classification system that allows categorization of highly repellent surfaces. New multi-variable analysis methodology for the evaluation of durability in highly repellent coatings was developed in this study. Key coating parameters were identified, including initial wettability, abrasive wear, adhesive wear and ability to retain repellency. Coating characteristics were examined with FTIR, SEM, AFM, DSA, Taber Abrader, roughness profilometer and goniometer. Furthermore, these characteristics were presented in a form of spider diagrams and performance indices and are used to generate plot of performance indices. In this study, six types of TWI coating anti-soiling materials (based on patented TWI’s Vitolane® technology, containing silsesqioxanes and functionalized silica nanoparticles) and two commercial easy clean products were prepared and subjected to new assessment methodology. It has been found that this novel methodology for evaluation of highly repellent surfaces allows comparison and categorizing different families of coatings. The data obtained from plot of performance indices supports the statement that there is an inverse relation between repellency and durability of hydrophobic surfaces. It has been found that coatings with low Ra value (no more than 10nm) and symmetric distribution of peaks and valleys are the most durable, yet their WCA value doesn’t exceed more than 105°. It has been also found that some nanostructured coatings behave beyond this inverse relationship. Addition of novel inorganic building blocks with controlled size (Ra in a range of 200nm and symmetric distribution in roughness profile) and functionalities (3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate and 1H 1H 2H 2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane) improves overall coating performance by linking mechanical robustness with desired wetting characteristics (WCA reaches 112°C). The progress in testing and classification criteria of repellent coatings enables further development of next generation of materials. This novel knowledge-based approach for highly repellent coatings validation has the potential to accelerate uptake. The findings open a promising new direction in materials development, where advanced coatings and surface treatments can be developed by design, reducing the number of development iterations, ultimately leading to reduced cost and development time.
Supervisor: Taylor, A. ; Boyd, I. ; Fern, G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nanoadditives ; Anti-soiling ; Silica nanoparticles ; Nano-structure