This innovative technology provides a liquid formulation that can be readily applied to a range of materials to create highly water-repellent surfaces with excellent non-stick and self-healing properties for potential consumer, industrial and medical applications.
Effective super water-repellent surface properties offer a range of practical advantages for diverse consumer and industrial applications. Such properties include self-cleaning, anti-fouling, de-icing, anti-corrosion and friction reduction for uses such as in building materials, marine environments, biomedical products as well as many others. The nature-inspired development of slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS) provides an approach to superhydrophobic surface coatings, however, there remains a need for practical and economical approaches to create such systems on a large scale to allow widespread adoption of SLIPS technologies.
University of Edinburgh researchers have developed a practical one-step route to creating slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS). The technology is based on a liquid formation consisting of three components: particles, lubricant and a solvent. The liquid formulation can be easily applied by standard techniques such as spray coating or roll-to-roll coating. Once applied the solvent is evaporated from the surface at room temperature or with heat with the system self-assembling to form the repellent coating. The components of the formulation can be tailored to offer optimal surface properties for the desired application. The resulting coating is robust and has an extremely low contact angle of hysteresis making the easy elimination of water and contaminants from the surface possible.