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26-05-2017 | Materials Technology | News | Article

Nano-Coating for Heat Exchangers

Dieter Beste

Researchers have succeeded in developing a nanopaint with anti-adhesive, anti-corrosive and anti-microbial properties to reduce the effort required to clean heat exchangers.

The Saarbrücken-based Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) has announced the development of a nano-coating that can reduce the effort required to clean heat exchangers and reduce their corrosion. Researchers have therefore succeeded in developing a paint that has anti-adhesive, anti-corrosive and, where required, anti-microbial properties. The food industry often uses heat exchangers in its processes, which must be regularly cleaned with aggressive chemicals to prevent the development of microbes on the surfaces.

Diffusion barriers prevent corrosion

The anti-adhesive properties of the nano-coating were achieved by introducing hydrophobic compounds that apparently resemble common Teflon. The aim was to prevent the formation of any unwanted biofilm on the surfaces and to allow existing residues to be transported out. In addition, the researchers reported that they added structures to their coatings that improved the diffusion barrier, thereby increasing the corrosion resistance of the heat exchangers.

Copper acts against microbes and fungi

The scientists introduced colloidal copper into the coating in a further step to prevent the growth of microbes, bacteria or fungi. In the presence of oxygen or water, which is present in many processes, copper ions migrate from the paint to the surface where they have an anti-microbial effect.

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Background information for this content

15-12-2016 | Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for optical, photonic and optoelectronic applications | Issue 1/2017

Nano ZnO thin films synthesis by sol–gel spin coating method as a transparent layer for solar cell applications

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