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Self-cleaning Technologies for Enhanced Coating Performance

Technology Overview

It is highly desirable to keep various types of surfaces clean and easy to maintain to retain their aesthetic appearance and/or functional performance. This can be achieved through self-cleaning coatings, that work by breaking down organic materials and by creating a water-loving surface to allow rain or other water sources to easily wash them off naturally, without scrubbing or scraping. For both internal and external applications such as buildings, solar panels, glass panels and various surfaces, the application of self-cleaning additives and coatings can help to reduce the manpower, costs and time needed for cleaning and maintenance.

However, challenges such as self-cleaning efficiency and durability remain for the current self-cleaning coating products in the market. To address these challenges, the team has developed enhanced self-cleaning additive and coating technologies. These technologies are made available on equitable licensing terms and on a non-exclusive and worldwide basis to accelerate the adoption of useful innovations.

Technology Features & Specifications

For enhanced self-cleaning efficiency covering a wider range of solar light spectrum, including visible light range, a novel TiO2 additive was developed with the following features:

  • Actively responsive to not only UV light, but also visible light
  • Easy incorporation into water-based paints and coatings
  • Paints and coatings incorporated with this self-cleaning additive can be easily applied by painting or spraying
  • Degrades dirty particulate pollutants to clean surfaces
  • Allows the reduction of the frequency of maintenance

For durable and transparent self-cleaning coatings with superior bonding to surfaces, a multi-layer coating through physical vapor deposition (PVD) was developed, featuring:

  • Tunable layers for increased light transmission, self-cleaning effect and colour effects
  • Visible and NIR light transmission (400-1000 nm): ~90%
  • Durable: Minimal change in light transmission after 150 cycles of oscillating sand abrasion
  • Water contact angle: 0-10°

Potential Applications

Potential applications for these enhanced self-cleaning technologies include, but not limited to:

  • Solar panels
  • Building façade, windows or other interior surfaces
  • Vehicle windscreens
  • Aquariums

 

In addition, these self-cleaning additive and coating technologies can potentially provide antimicrobial properties as a result of the reactive oxygen species produced from photocatalytic reactions. The team is open to collaborate with industry partners to validate and optimise the potential application for antimicrobial solutions.

Customer Benefits

  • Lower maintenance and material costs
  • Lower water consumption for cleaning stains

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