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Self cleaning paint

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Old 16 May 2004, 10:53 pm
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Default Self cleaning paint

This was sent to me by one of my peers in the industry, thought you would find it interesting reading, Gary

The ability of leaves to clean themselves in the rain has inspired the development of a self-cleaning paint.
A self-cleaning paint inspired by lotus leaves is being developed by Australian researchers.
A paint compound, which is currently being tested by its developers at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology at the University of Sydney is designed to prevent dirt from sticking to its surface.
According to Dr Nagu Nagarajan, who is charged with future commercialisation, the initial inspiration for the paint came from nature.
One researcher noticed that while lotus plants live in water, water never sticks to their leaves, Nagarajan told ABC Science Online. "We asked 'can we mimic this property?'."
Plant leaves keep clean because a thin, and slightly bumpy, coating of wax on them enables rain to easily wash the dirt from them. The team have mimicked the natural cleaning action of water on leaves by creating a synthetic compound - consisting of a water-repellent polymer filled with a microscopic powder - which is designed to decrease the strength of the bond between dirt and the surface of paint.
"Even if something sticks in a light way the rain will take it away," Nagarajan said.
If it proves itself, the new paint compound is designed to become part of the normal mixture of paint chemicals which include solvent, pigment and oxidants.
The paint could be used on house exteriors, cars, road signs and billboards which would then be washed clean any time it rained. It could also make food surfaces easier to wash and could potentially be used on ceramic tiles and even help with the problem of graffiti.
"Graffiti is an ink, the concept should cover that as well although it does need to be tested," said Nagarajan.
Early days
The concept is yet to undergo a lot of testing.
"Testing needs to be done outside and in certain conditions, and under certain temperatures," Nagarajan said. “Surfaces that are exposed to high UV radiation will require paint that needs to be tested for longer periods.”
"We are still working at laboratory scale, and will patent once proof of concept is achieved.”
The team anticipate it will take between 18 months to two years for the new product to reach the market. "We have a long way to go," he said. Because it is self-cleaning we want it to last for years.”
Nagarajan’s group is currently trying to get commercial interest in the project and would like to keep new technologies within the University.
"Initially we are aiming to have Australian backers, but we don't want good technology to die a natural death," he said.
The self-cleaning paint is being showcased at Australia’s first Commercialisation Forum and Fair of Ideas being held in Sydney this week.

Danny Kingsley - ABC Science Online

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Old 16 May 2004, 11:55 pm
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Interesting article and technology. But, what will I do with all my spare time if they eventually develop and apply something like this?
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Old 17 May 2004, 12:56 am
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quote:The paint could be used on house exteriors, cars, road signs and billboards which would then be washed clean any time it rained.
I don't see the point here in SoCal....sometimes it literally doesn't rain for 6 months at a time or longer! Actually, I think for the first 9 months that I lived in California I didn't see any local rain.....very strange. So I'd still be washing my car every week.
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Old 17 May 2004, 08:29 am
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Wonder what you'd do to repaint? Seems a second coat wouldn't stick, either...[:I]
Interesting - and you read it here first!
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Old 19 May 2004, 08:18 am
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There are a lot of people in my town that could
use this, as they only wash their cars when it rains.
Seems to me that people are either to busy or just
lazy,probably a little of both.
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