The science behind superhydrophobic products


How does this stuff work?

It is a water repellent coating that is meant for glass, some plastics, and other nonporous surfaces like painted metal, porcelain, and smooth countertops. It works by forming a nano crystal structure on the substrate (the surface it is applied to). This crystal structure keeps the water and debris from actually touching the substrate. The less the water or debris touches, the less friction it has and the less it is held to the surface. For water, this is measured by what's called the "contact angle" which is the angle between the water droplet and the surface. 0 degrees means it would be completely flat on the surface and 180 would be such an extreme angle that it would not actually be touching. Neither of these extremes are possible, but we can get very close! Recent advancements have seen the contact angle reach over 170 degrees! However, the nano crystals that produce these angles are very fragile and break down very quickly. The trick is to get the highest angle possible while still maintaining durability. Many products are below 130 degrees. Things like car wax and teflon are around 90-95 degrees. Other hydrophobic (water repelling) commercial coatings will reach up to 130-140 degrees. If the contact angle is greater than 150, it is given the title "superhydrophobic". This is where Water Armour comes in. Depending on the substrate, Water Armour products can reach contact angles in excess of 150 degrees!

What does this mean to me?

The capabilities of superhydrophobic products are nearly endless. They repel water and resist fogging. This also means that ice and frost will have a hard time adhering to the surface (Applications:car windows, electrical lines, boats, walkways). Since bacteria needs moisture to grow, it will also help prevent their growth (Applications: bathroom, kitchen). Water can wear down surfaces over time due to abrasion, but since the water only touches the crystals and not actually the surface, it is protected (Applications: roofing, boats, cars, plumbing). It can also help prevent the rotting of wood and the rusting of metals (Applications: decks, patios, and other outdoor structures and furniture). Since dirt, grease, grime, and other debris sits on top of the crystal structure as well, it is easily cleaned with a splash of water giving them a self-cleaning effect (Applications: cars, decks and patios, kitchen, bathroom, walls, furniture). Even heavy soiling is more easily cleaned. Electronic components sensitive to water are also protected since the water cannot actually touch them (Applications: computers, phones, calculators, and other electronics that risk coming into contact with water).*







*Not all Water Armour products are suited for these purposes. Please read directions carefully. If you have any questions or doubts, please contact us. Water Armour will not cover any damage resulting from misuse of our products.