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Self-Cleaning Nano Paint Leans on Light

Monday, May 20, 2013

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A new nanotech company has developed a coating product that can reportedly combat pollutants through a proprietary nanoparticle formula and natural light.

Developed by Detroit-based Nano Labs Corp., the self-cleaning paint is said to be suitable for use on buildings, roads, refineries, pipelines and other applications.

Nano Labs Corp.

Nano Labs, a new research and development concern, is working on a variety of nanomaterial developments for paints, coatings and building materials.

The "eco-friendly" coating, which is still being tested, "will keep exterior surface material performance and appearance standards for much longer periods of time," the company announced.

The paint can be used on metal, cement, bricks and wood substrates.

Nanoparticle Formulation

Unlike other self-cleaning paints, Nano Labs says its new coating does not rely on texturization (known as the “Lotus Effect”) or high-surface energy.

With the Lotus Effect, pollutant particles are picked up by water droplets due to the nano or micrometric architecture of the surface, which minimizes adhesion.

High surface energy technology relies on materials, like Teflon, to coat the surface.

Nano Labs contends that both of those methods are expensive and difficult to scale up for large, commercial applications.

Leveraging Light

Nano Labs' self-cleaning mechanism is grounded in a "unique nanoparticle compound," the company said, without elaborating.

The company did not immediately return a request for more information on the technology or on when it anticipates market introduction.

"Our material is neither a texturized or high surface energy solution," says Dr. Victor Castano, chief innovations officer.

"Instead, we leverage natural light and our proprietary nanoparticle system that allows any surface to literally keep itself clean from contaminants, dirt, dust, waste, fungus or, for that matter, graffiti or bird droppings.

lotus leaf
Wikimedia Commons

Nano Labs says its paint does not rely on texturization or the "Lotus Effect," which other researchers have been using to develop self-cleaning paints and coatings.

"We are committed to producing green solutions through nanotechnology that can have dramatic and positive ecologically friendly impact, but also drive the bottom line for our future customers and shareholders," he said.

The company says it has completed initial prototype testing and is preparing for submission of standardization and accreditation tests that are required before commercialization.

About the Company

Founded in October 2012, Nano Labs' research and development team of scientists, designers, and engineers is focused on creating a portfolio of advanced products that could provide benefits to a variety of industries including consumer products, energy, materials (including paints and coatings), and health care.

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Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Coatings manufacturers; Coatings Technology; Coatings technology; Nanotechnology; Research; Self-cleaning coatings

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (5/20/2013, 11:47 AM)

Um, Teflon is a LOW surface energy material, not high.

Comment from Anthony Eng, (5/20/2013, 12:56 PM)

super-hydrophobicity (e..g, lotus effect) relies on chemistry of surface imparting low surface energy and physical profile of surface imparting high surface energy.

Comment from VCBud Jenkins, (5/22/2013, 1:03 PM)

A Cal Poly Pomona Grad student, Jesus Jimenez, 3 years ago, did his thesis on nanoparticle TiO2 which gave the same results. We discovered the optimum amounts to use to cause light to photodegrade any organic substance put over the coating, including graffiti, bird droppings and soot from the atmosphere.

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