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Adhesion strength and superhydrophobicity in polyurethane/organoclay nanocomposites

A. Steele, I. Bayer, Y.H. Yeong, E. Loth
University of Virginia, US

Keywords: superhydrophobicity, nanocomposite, adhesion, polymer, nanoparticle


Polyurethane coatings are used on many different materials and in a wide variety of applications due to its high durability and adaptable chemical composition. Although there are a number of reports on the fabrication of superhydrophobic coatings with a polyurethane component, the authors are not aware of any publications which have examined and optimized its influence with regard to adhesion strength and anti-wetting performance. In fact, adhesion strength is typically not even mentioned in reports on superhydrophobicity since the vast majority of synthetic superhydrophobic coatings are extremely fragile. Adhesion strength and durability are critical for realistic application of superhydrophobic materials, which have the potential for dramatic performance improvements such as drag reduction for marine vehicles and fluid power systems, anti-fouling and anti-icing on aircraft and wind turbines, and stain-resistant coatings. In the current study, adhesion strength was investigated experimentally for superhydrophobic nanocomposites fabricated from polyurethane modified with a fluoroacrylic polymer and a clay-based nanofiller. Superhydrophobic performance was found to endure under high adhesion strength tests up to 3850 N/m, a four fold increase from the strongest known superhydrophobic coating.
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