Superhydrophobic materials attract significant attention due to their water-repellent and self-cleaning properties. Such superhydrophobicity effect can be attributed to water’s dis-affinity for the chemical composition of a surface as well as to a surface structure. Thus, the highly suitable fibrous structure and surface topography of NAFEN™ along with the possibility of its chemical functionalization offer a great opportunity in the development of superhydrophobic materials.
Example: Breakdown of cement and concrete structures is directly impacted by exposure to the elements of nature—especially water. Cement based structures, therefore, need to be treated with weather-resistant coatings to help protect the integrity of the material over time. One such method is to apply a hydrophobic coating to the surface. These are typically produced with polyurethane type polymers, but the weaker nature of these polymers cause the coatings to break down and expose the cement over time. Epoxy based coatings are much harder and more resilient. They have typically not been flexible enough though to avoid cracking when the structure expands or contracts due to temperature changes.
When NAFEN™ has been added to these systems, the abrasion resistance and toughness of the coating is increased, thus making the epoxy system longer lasting than the polyurethane version. The surface of NAFEN™ can also be functionalized with a hydrophobic coating to improve the coating’s resistance to water penetration.
DynaBond™ products have developed a hydrophobic epoxy-based sealant for the construction industry. Click here to see more about these systems.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 685213