Stain resistant paints from smart hydrophobic surfaces

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

The business opportunity that this project addresses is the introduction of universal stain shedding decorative paints to the
premium end of the large volume decorative paint market. To address this business opportunity the project team must
translate the novel surface science recently shown by UCL (Science 6 March 2015) into commercially realistic materials
(Omya) for processing into desirable decorative paints (AkzoNobel) for sale to the end user (UK consumers) at a premium,
but realistic, price. The problem faced by AkzoNobel is that even the most durable of decorative paints have a tendency to
suffer from staining from common household stains (coffee, red wine) which leads to customer dissatisfaction if the stain
cannot easily be removed; even requiring redecoration in the some cases. The intended output of the project will address
this problem as it will deliver universal stain shedding decorative paints from which all stains are automatically released on
the stimulation of the staining process
There are five innovative aspects to this project
a) Delivery of the superhydrophobic surfaces using cost effective minerals, as opposed to the published route based on
expensive titanium dioxide (TiO2), will be innovative.
b) The application and use of mixtures of accurately controlled particle size minerals in main stream decorative paints is not
actually practiced and so this would be innovative.
c) No cost effective decorative paints are available that have the technical ability to self-shed dirt and stains.
d) The concept behind the science of this innovation is practised to some extent in stain resistant fabrics. There would be
innovation in transferring the effects in stain resistant fabrics to decorative paints.
e) Decorative paints where stain shedding is the marketing focus have not been brought to the UK (or EU27) marketplace
so this would be a commercial innovation.

Given the strong current customer needs for delivery and maintenance of perfect colour in the home
(http://www.letscolourproject.com/) the proposed technology from this project would be extremely timely.

Planned Impact

This project will strive to create smart products (universal stain shedding decorative paints) that use the combination of
functional materials in the superhydrophobic surfaces recently revealed by UCL.
The envisaged smart product (a universal stain shedding decorative paint) will be one that responds autonomously to a
stimuli in the environment (household staining of painted surfaces from accidental spillage or deliberate graffiti) to produce
a beneficial action (automatic repulsion of the stain to recover the desired clean surface). This is an enhancement of
existing decorative paints with the addition of smart universal stain shedding properties.
The project addresses the issues associated with materials manufacturing and processing as it is looking to take proven
academic science into the large volume commercial arena, which has often been challenging to realise in an economically
viable way. The project will therefore include, by necessity, work packages on
a) novel fabrication techniques, such as dispersion of the identified materials, to allow for their delivery within a decorative
paint so that consumers can still easily apply the paint in their home
b) material characterisation and in-situ monitoring to confirm that the novel smart products meet the customers desires for
universal stain shedding decorative paint
c) accelerated life tests to determine material durability so as not to reduce the currently accepted home (re)decorating
cycle.
The desired end point of the project is a decorative paint that will never succumb to disfiguration by staining and hence
there will be a reduced need for repair. This will reduce material consumption (less redecoration) and reduces the need for
end-of-life treatments (less need to recycle unwanted stained painted substrates if they cannot be repainted).
Furthermore the stain resistant superhydrophobic paint may intrinsically also have damp, condensation resistance (water
can not penetrate a superhydrophobic surface) and antimicrobial properties (biofilms/ molds struggle to be established on
superhydrophobic surfaces).
 
Description The concept of the project was to develop a fully stain resistant paint, leveraging upon the technologies and IP developed within the UCL Department of Chemistry in the field of superhydrophobic (super repellent) surfaces, and in collaboration with AkzoNobel and Omya International. A major hurdle is maintaining hydrophobicity in formulations with rheology modifiers and higher levels of white pigment that are required within paint formulations. Hydrophobic fully formulated model paints were achieved. However, a Superhydrophobic fully formulated model paint was not defined. There were significant highlights and achievements made including:
- Making the transition from the academic model systems to realistic paint formulations while maintaining superhydrophobicity or strong hydrophobicity.
- Replacement of fluoro-silanes with non-fluorinated hydrophobising agents.
- Simple, scalable synthetic processes were developed.
- Expensive controlled size particles were replaced with conventional extender minerals.
- Use of mixtures of particles and inclusion of latex binders and rheology modifiers and other additives was achieved.
Exploitation Route Research investigated incorporation of superhydrophobic nanoparticles in paints.

Two potential routes for exploitation (a conventional paint and a wash coat) are being investigated with Azko Nobel. The project is being written up internally within AkzoNobel as a library report and the outcome of the project will be communicated to the Open Innovation and Technology organisations within AkzoNobel so that the technology can be considered for other applications in paints and coatings.
Sectors Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description We have made a series of superhydrophobic materials that repel water and other substances when converted to slipperynliquid infused porous surfaces. We are in discussion with a number of industrial companies on the use of the technology developed from follow on work from this grant. We now have a KTP project with Altro Ltd to develop easy clean nonslip flooring.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Chemicals,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description EPSRC IAA
Amount £46,128 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K503745/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description EngD Studentship sponsored by Altro
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Organisation Altro Limited 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description EngD Studentship sponsored by AzkoNobel
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Organisation ICI Paints 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Innovate UK Smart Materials
Amount £248,451 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N510051/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2019
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £336,964 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 04/2020
 
Description Smart Decorative Paints - InnovateUK award 
Organisation ICI Paints
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This is part of an InnovateUK award. The aim of the project is the delivery of superhydrophobic surfaces using cost effective minerals, as opposed to our previously published route based on expensive titanium dioxide (TiO2). The application and use of mixtures of accurately controlled particle size minerals in main stream decorative paints is not actually practiced. hence the project is currently identifying the best particles which could then be incorporated into paint.
Collaborator Contribution Azko Nobel based on the first year of the project have now funded an EngD studentship which started in October 2016. The business opportunity that this project addresses is the introduction of universal stain shedding decorative paints to the premium end of the large volume decorative paint market. To address this business opportunity the project team must translate the novel surface science developed by us into commercially realistic materials for processing into desirable decorative paints (AkzoNobel) for sale to the end user (UK consumers) at a premium, but realistic, price. Hence studies are currently in place to take our novel superhydrophobic particles and incorporate into paint.
Impact The project is ongoing and outcomes are confidential currently
Start Year 2016
 
Title Composite particles, coatings and coated articles 
Description The invention relates to composite particles, coatings, and coated articles. An article is provided at least partially covered with a coating defining a slippery surface. The coating comprises a layer of particulate material bound to the article and a substantially immobilised lubricant at least partially covering and penetrating into the layer of composite particulate material. The composite particulate material comprises a carrier particle at least partially coated with a hydrophobic material. A further article is provided at least partially covered with a coating comprising a layer of the composite particulate material bound to said article. This is useful in preparation of the article having a coating defining a slippery surface. Methods of preparing the coating and the articles are also provided. 
IP Reference US2018318877 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed No
Impact KTP project funded with Altro Ltd to investigate 'Easy Clean Non-Slip Flooring'
 
Description Outreach event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Opening of the KLB building at UCL with Sir David Attenborough. We have a stand showcasing our research which he and many attendees interacted with.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Smart Surfaces 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Roysal Society Summer exhibtion on Smart Surfaces
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2017/summer-science-exhibition/exhibits/smart-s...