Nanotech 2011

Fabrication of Superhydrophobic Thin Film Coatings from Teflon Dispersed Paraffin Wax/Polyolefin Blends with Thermal Energy Storage Capability

I. Bayer, D. Fragouli, A. Athanassiou, R. Cingolani
Italian Institute of Technology, IT

Keywords: paraffin wax, phase change materials, superhydrophobic, energy storage


In the present study, we demonstrate a simple, inexpensive technique to fabricate large area ultra water repellent self-cleaning coatings having thermal energy storage ability from submicron (~ 200 nm) Teflon dispersed paraffin wax/polyolefin blends. Two different types of polyolefins were used, i.e., a linear polyolefin and a biocompatible cyclic olefin copolymer. Coatings were fabricated by spray casting from polymer solutions containing colloidal Teflon particles on aluminum surfaces. In-situ monitoring of solvent evaporation and wax crystallization within the films under an optical microscope indicated that paraffin wax micro-crystalization during thermosetting forces Teflon micro particles into interconnected aggregates forming a desired lotus-leaf like dual micron/submicron surface roughness. For Teflon particle concentrations between 8 to 10 % by weight, static contact angles as high as 165o were measured. Contact angle hysteresis was below 8o rendering the coatings self-cleaning. Ideal paraffin wax:polyolefin ratio in the coatings was found to be 1:1. Hydrophobicity of the paraffin wax/polyolefin blend coatings containing no Teflon was found to be identical to pure paraffin wax except slightly higher contact angle hysteresis was measured on wax/polyolefin blend films.

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