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Nanocoating Called Impervious to Water

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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A new super-hydrophobic protective coating by Ross Nanotechnology LLC promises to create a surface that completely repels all water and oils, creating a surface that wards off icing and corrosion.

“Any object coated with our NeverWet coating literally cannot be touched by liquid,” the company says.

“Any liquid placed on this coating is repelled and simply rolls off without touching the underlying surface. Not only is this amazing to see, but it solves a myriad of problems.”

 Ross Nanotechnology

 Photos: Ross Nanotechnology

Contact angles are considered hydrophobic when greater than 90 degrees and superhydrophobic when greater than 150 degrees. NeverWet coatings claim a contact angle of 160 to 175 degrees—nearly a perfect sphere.

Protective coatings are just one of the NeverWet technology’s applications. The manufacturer is also touting similar coatings for electronic devices, electrical equipment, cardboard packaging and fabrics.

Tackling Corrosive Environments

“Water is a persistent, pervasive substance,” the company says on its site. “Even on a coated steel surface, it will find a way to corrode the underlying metal. This frustrating phenomenon seems to happen more rapidly than most would predict.”

Zinc-based and other sacrificial coatings “merely delay the inevitable” degradation, the company says.

Claims and Testing

The company says that NeverWet coatings are easy to apply, durable and:

• “Have demonstrated an improvement in corrosion prevention that is four to six times better than the leading coated steel surface”;

• Undergo testing in a salt fog chamber to simulate an extreme corrosive environment; and

• Compare to “top-of-the-line commercial polyurethane coatings used on bridges and infrastructure everywhere.”

A company video demonstrates the salt fog chamber results, as well as other claims, and a free white paper is also available.

In one video, the company shows the condition of a NeverWet-coated surface that was submerged in seawater for more than a year. Ross says the coating retains its superhydrophobic characteristics under high-pressure spray and other extreme conditions.

NeverWet video

In June, NeverWet Coatings received the Grand Prix Award at INPEX 2011 (Invention & New Product Exposition), near Pittsburgh.

About the Developer

The coating was developed under the direction of Dr. Vinod Sikka, director of Research and Development for Ross Nanotechnology.

 Dr. Vinod Sikka
Dr. Vinod Sikka, director of R&D at Ross Nanotechnology, was R&D manager for Oak Ridge National Laboratory for more than 30 years.

For 34 years, Sikka was R&D manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he specialized in research into steel and other metals and developed advanced materials for structural applications. At Ross, his research focus is nano materials, including super-hydrophobic materials and carbon nanotube composites.

Ross Nanotechnology LLC is a subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based Ross Technology Corp.


Tagged categories: Coatings technology; Corrosion protection; Corrosion resistance; Nano and hybrid coatings; Nanotechnology; Protective coatings

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (12/5/2011, 9:00 AM)

Comparison with a polyurethane applied directly to steel? Seems like they sandbagged the "standard coating" competition. Polyurethanes are not typically applied directly to steel for corrosion protection, they are used to protect the underlying coatings - mostly from UV light.

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