Super-hydrophobic paint isn’t just great because it repels water, it’s also naturally self-cleaning, so there’s no accumulation of dirt as with regular coating finishes. Problem is, previous attempts at ultra-hydrophobic paint usually leads to materials that easily break down when exposed to oil, making them unusable in the real world. That could change soon with a new self-cleaning and hard-wearing paint developed by researchers from the University College London (UCL).
Working with scientists from Dalian University of Technology and Imperial College London, the team managed to produce a paint that’s both super-hydrophobic and highly-resilient. How resilient? According to the paper the team published, the paint can withstand intentional scratching from both knives and sandpaper, which should make them durable enough to survive everyday wear and tear in many applications.
The new paint is made using coated titanium oxide nanoparticles, which is combined with different adhesives to give the final product its hard-wearing properties. During tests, the paint has been applied successfully to steel, glass, paper, and even cotton wool balls, giving them self-cleaning hydrophobic properties, all while being resistant to oils and scratches. Different coating methods were used, depending on the surface (e.g. spray-gun was used for glass and syringe was used for paper).
Because it works on both steel and glass, the team quickly cited the paint’s possible use on cars, which could lead to car paint that doesn’t get scuffed and doesn’t get dirty. Who the heck wouldn’t want that?
You can read more about the study from the link below.