Researchers Discover Self-Wrinkled Coating

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2023


A team of researchers from two universities in China have reportedly developed a self-wrinkled photo-curing coating to improve mechanical properties like impact resistance.

According to the team, the coating is made of a “microphase-separated structure with gradient cross-linked architecture,” inspired by the bottom-up fabrication and energy dissipation mechanisms of natural organisms. 

More Information

A report on the research from Phys.org states that polymer coatings are typically used as a protective layer in a few fields such as surface anti-corrosion, anti-penetration and anti-impact.

Solving the issue of enhancing these mechanical properties of coatings such as impact resistance has reportedly been necessary, though also a challenging task under the current state of existing materials systems and processes.

The self-wrinkled surface morphology is reportedly caused by photo-polymerization and the intrinsic gradient architecture is produced by gradient cross-linked polymer networks.

These are reportedly important factors for energy dissipation and impact resistance. The cured coating, having enhanced characteristics, had reportedly confirmed both of these both theoretically and experimentally.

Compared to other tools for molding, nano- and micro-imprinting, laser ablation and soft lithography, the self-wrinkled coating was reportedly made through the same one-step approach as the original photo-curing coating.

The study was conducted by researchers Jin Li, Zhilong Su, Tiantian Li, Zehong Wang, Shilong Dong, Xiaodong Ma, Jie Yin and Xuesong Jiang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University; and Fan Xu and Xiaoliang Zhang from Fudan University. The study was published in the Chinese Academy of Sciences' publication, Science China Press; and the journal Science Bulletin.

Other Coatings Research

Earlier this month, a team of researchers from several universities reportedly came together to develop a superhydrophobic surface that can last for months underwater, inspired by a type of spider with water-repellent hairs.  

According to the release from Harvard University, the new development could allow underwater superhydrophobic surfaces to prevent corrosion, bacterial growth, the adhesion of marine organisms, chemical fouling and other negative effects.

The release explained that researchers based the new technology off the Argyroneta aquatica spider, which has millions of rough, water-repellent hairs that can trap air around its body and create an oxygen reservoir that blocks water from the spider’s lungs.

The thin layer of air is reportedly called a plastron, which for years scientists have tried to harness for the protective effects. The issue, the release states, is that plastrons are highly unstable under water, only able to keep surfaces dry for a few hours.

However, the team reportedly found a superhydrophobic surface that contains a stable plastron. With it, the team stated that it hopes to create long-lasting underwater superhydrophobic surfaces that can “repel blood and prevent the adhesion of bacterial and marine organisms” like barnacles and mussels.

Additionally, in July, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhilai reportedly developed a new formulation for a “self-healing” polymeric coating for solar cells, demonstrating the ability to heal cracks within five minutes. 

According to the report published in the European Polymer Journal, the team, led by Dr. Sanjib Banerjee from the department of chemistry, planned to evaluate the formulation for potential aerospace applications.

According to one report from clean energy communications and consulting group Mercom India, the self-healing coat material is a polymer called PSt-b-PTEVE, synthesized through a water tolerant method called cationic polymerization. This polymer, according to researchers, can heal cracks independently due to its redox responsiveness.

The researchers stated that a primary motivation for the project was solar cells’ “critical” role in combating climate change through harnessing sunlight to generate power, without fuel consumption or producing harmful emissions.

As a renewable energy source, solar cells reportedly play a crucial role in combating climate change through reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Since it is abundant and sustainable, researchers believe that solar energy could present a viable solution to meeting increasing energy demands.

Researchers also stated that though nature offers some examples of self-healing phenomena, translating them to engineering materials for practical purposes could present significant challenges.

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Coating Materials; Coating Materials; Coating types; Coatings; Coatings Technology; Corrosion protection; Durability; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Protective Coatings; Research; Research and development; Surface Preparation; Technology; Z-Continents

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