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Researcher Develops Eco-Friendly Coating that Resists Oil

Post Time:Aug 18,2009Classify:Glass QuotationView:473

Coating can be applied to cloth, glass, metal, and more

No one likes to clean, especially surfaces that are covered in oily deposits that can be difficult to remove and often require harsh chemicals and detergents. Removing oily deposits from some porous surfaces like walls and concrete can be nearly impossible.

Researchers have debuted a new coating that can be applied to all sorts of surfaces including cloth, glass, and plastic. The coating would allow users to wipe oil off the surfaces using plain water rather than detergents. The coating would also allow mirrors and other glass to resist fogging.

Researcher Jeffrey Youngblood, PhD said, "You add water, and the oil just comes right off like magic. These are eco-friendly coatings — environmentally 'green' in the sense that they eliminate the need for harsh detergents and solvents in settings ranging from home kitchens to industrial machine shops that must contend with heavy oil spills."

The coating could be used on a variety of consumer and industrial products say the researchers. Products include household cleaners, paints, water filters to separate oil from water, concrete sealants, and more. The coating is also eco-friendly and could reduce the need for detergents that use phosphates.

Reducing the amount of phosphates that are put out into the environment each year could cut down on the amount of phosphates that wash into lakes and streams. These phosphates stimulate the growth of algae that deplete the oxygen supply and cause fish to die and make it harmful for humans to swim.

Youngblood said, "The idea is to use these polymers to clean in situations where it's inconvenient to apply soap or anywhere you would need to have oil cleaned off easily. Oil fouling is always a problem. A lot of people overlook the fact that pure water will generally not remove oil from a surface, but using this product transforms water into a super detergent."

The polymer coating is about 20,000 times thinner than the width of a human hair and is highly sensitive to water. It has a bottom layer of polyethylene glycol that attracts water and an upper layer that has a Teflon-like molecule to prevent the passage of oil.

Source: www.dailytech.comAuthor: shangyi

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