Advanced Materials: TechConnect Briefs 2015Advanced Materials TechConnect Briefs 2015

Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications Chapter 7

Elastic Superhydrophobic Nanocomposites with Enhanced Mechanical Durability

A. Milionis, J. Languasco, E. Loth, I.S. Bayer
University of Virginia, United States

pp. 490 - 493

Keywords: superhydrophobic, nanocomposite, ABS, fumed silica, durability

The vast majority of superhydrophobic surfaces are very fragile which is their main limiting factor for commercialization. Improving their mechanical durability has been a major issue during the last years. In this work we demonstrate a simple spray coating approach for obtaining large-area and mechanically durable superhydrophobic coatings consisting of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), hydrophobic fumed silica (HFS) and a commercial rubber coating. The ABS provides the tough matrix that is required for the durability while the HFS attributes surface texture that promotes water-repellency. The rubber component significantly improves the adhesion to the substrate while it provides enhanced elasticity. This formulation when sprayed and thermally cured becomes a surface finish with extreme mechanical durability, among the best reported in the literature. Specifically the coatings retain their RA below 10° for 200 abrasion cycles while they continue to exhibit RA < 45° even after 1400 cycles (linear abrasion with 20.5 kPa). Furthermore, the coatings can cover elastic substrates and are able to bend several times without losing their properties. Such method exhibits significant advantages in terms of large-surface area fabrication, water-repellency, mechanical robustness, elasticity, simplicity and cost, so it can be attractive for many commercial applications related to the coating industry.