A. Milionis, Y.H. Yeong, E. Loth, I.S. Bayer
University of Virginia, US
superhydrophobic, nanocomposite, ABS, fumed silica
We report on the development of nanocomposites based on a combination of ABS with hydrophobically modified fumed silica (HMFS). By tuning the ratio between the two materials we are again able to obtain static water contact angle 166° and roll-off angle 2.7°. The coatings exhibit the same chemistry in their entire thickness, since the HMFS is homogeneously dispersed in the ABS matrix. Consequently, even if the coatings are subject to strong wear with material removed, the underlying layers which are then exposed exhibit the same anti-wetting characteristics. To quantify the wear robustness, mechanical durability tests were performed and the coatings did not lose their water repellency until 70 abrasion cycles (33 kPa applied pressure). The surface topography of the coatings was investigated with scanning electron microscopy unveiling micron and nanoscale rough features. Preliminary tests showed that the coatings exhibit good anti-icing properties compared to other materials used in aircraft industry. The developed technique is fast, low-cost, and based on non-toxic commercially available materials that can successfully produce highly water repellent coatings with stable performance even after several mechanical abrasion cycles. Due to the simplicity and efficiency of this technique such coatings can find a wide range of applications.