By Damaso De Bono, Alan Taylor and Marta Alvarez
Low surface energy (or non-stick) coatings are currently used in a range of sectors including aerospace, power generation and land transportation. Low energy coatings are primarily required in applications where it is necessary to form a temporary mating of surfaces, such as mould-releases, or seals. However they are also successfully used in applications where surface contamination will reduce performance, such as heat exchangers, porous construction materials, display devices and textiles.
With a large number of products available, it becomes an increasingly complex task to assess the different types and select a technically appropriate coating within a reasonable time-frame. There is currently no guidance about how to select between these different coatings, to suit the needs of a particular application. Low surface energy coatings for harsh environments are a subject of particular importance, and in these cases the mechanical characteristics are of equal importance high standing to the low surface energy property.
It is clear therefore that there is a need for an assessment methodology that allows low surface energy coatings to be quantitatively compared. This project has demonstrated the development of such a methodology and its application for the assessment of a range of low surface energy commercial coating chemistries on a commonly used substrate to establish baseline performance.
- A general assessment methodology was developed for low surface energy coatings to be used in mechanically aggressive environments.
- Test methods to assess the functional properties of low energy coatings were conducted and then relative merits discussed.
- Test methods were applied and demonstrated for the assessment of typical examples of commercial low surface energy coatings.