Nano-Coating for 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.