Researchers at MSU have developed a portfolio of novel technologies capable of repelling various types of liquids – including ink, water, and oil – as well as other contaminants. The technology is optically clear, mechanically durable, self-cleaning, fluorine-free, and cost-effective to manufacture.
While many water-repelling products exist, few have the ability to repel multiple forms of liquids, particularly inks. The ability to produce this technology without fluorine, a precursor element known to make manufacturing coatings costly, additionally sets it apart.
Developed by Dr. Muhammad Rabnawaz, Assistant Professor in the MSU School of Packaging, these technologies can be applied to an abundance of industries, including anti-corrosion ship hulls, smudge- and water- protection of touchscreen devices, and linings of distillation columns. With a keen interest in enhancing the market, the Rabnawaz lab has extensive experience working with industry.
Omniphobic Coating Suite
Overview of Technology
This omniphobic polyurethane coating repels ink, water, oil, and other materials. Once applied to a surface, liquids bead up and roll off the coating, and are easily cleaned by rain or a light wash. The coating is also scratch resistant and optically clear, making it an ideal choice for windows, mirrors, and screens. Its cost-effective and simple manufacture eliminates the need for costly fluorine and utilizes a one-pot approach that requires less time and equipment than similar manufacturing methods.
Optically Clear: At several microns thick, the coating is clear, making it ideal for windows, mirrors, and screens.
Mechanically Durable: Once cured to a surface, the coating becomes scratch resistant.
Simple Processing: One-pot synthesis reduces manufacturing steps and cost.
Cost-Effective: Removal of fluorine, graft/block copolymers eliminates expensive raw materials.
Anti-Graffiti: Ability to repel ink and oil is suitable for use on buildings, train cars, etc. to prevent graffiti.
Water Repellant: Ability to repel water makes coating suitable for waterproofing, including on automobiles, boats, and roofs.
Self-Cleaning: Liquids bead up and roll off the surface such that rain or a light wash will more easily remove contaminants repelled by the surface.
Overview of Technology
This process generates an optically clear, durable, and self-cleaning epoxy, polyurethane/acrylic/alkyd omniphobic coating. The coating forms from an initial epoxy coating drop cast onto a desired substrate such as glass, metal, etc.. After a pre-determined time, PDMS-NCO sets and cures the coating once applied via a cotton ball or cotton roller then air-dried. The resulting polymer contains a matrix of PDMS-NCO that are highly resistant to water, oil, and graffiti. This non-graft approach represents a significant advancement in ease of implementation and automation of a historically challenging problem.
Water Damage Prevention: Anti-Rust and anti-biofouling properties suitable for use in civil infrastructure, underground machinery and materials, wind turbine blade coating, and ship hull coating.
Ease of Installation: Can be applied using a variety of polymers: epoxy, polyurethane, acrylics, alkyds, epoxy/graphene, epoxy/cellulose nanocrystals, etc.
Ease of Process: Reduced process complexity compared to graft copolymer method.
Textile Applications: Suitable for creating water-resistant and stain-free clothing and fabrics.
Chemical Resistant: Capability to repel chemicals for creation of chemical-resistant devices.
Overview of Technology
This technology repels inks, a characteristic that sets it apart from commercial water-repelling products. Manufacture of these coatings does not require fluorine and may be produced with bio-based precursors, ultimately eliminating dependence on petroleum-based polymers altogether and significantly reducing costs. Its simple and cost effective one-pot approach eliminates the need for graft or block copolymers, further reducing manufacturing costs. Applications may include glass, coat fibers, metals, wood, fabrics and ceramics with relative ease and in ambient conditions.
Ambient Curing: May be applied to glass, coat fibers, metals, wood, fabrics and ceramics with relative ease and in ambient conditions.
Faster Curing: Experiences a decreased curing duration relative to similar coatings.
Bio Based: Produced with biobased precursors, ultimately eliminating dependence on petroleum-based polymers.
Application: Various applications methods include spray, roll cast, drop cast, and wirewound.
Protective: Suitable for use as a protective coating on ships, automobiles, windows, fabrics, and touchscreens.