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Smart UV-curable fabric coatings with self-healing ability for durable self-cleaning and intelligent oil/water separation

Chen, Kunlin, Zhou, Jianlin, Ge, Fangqing, Zhao, Run, Wang, Chaoxia
Colloids and surfaces 2019 v.565 pp. 86-96
coatings, colloids, deprotonation, energy conservation, fabrics, hydrophobicity, mechanical damage, oils, pH, perfluorocarbons, polyurethanes, protonation, seawater, silsesquioxanes, sustainable development, ultraviolet radiation, wettability
Fabrication of smart fabrics using a simple and scalable method is a big challenge, and this paper is aimed at developing a facile approach for the preparation of smart fabric coatings. The coating was formed on the fabric using pH-responsive polyurethane (pH-PU) and fluorated octavinyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (F-OV-POSS) by UV curing. These obtained fabric coatings exhibited durable superhydrophobicity and self-cleaning ability even under some harsh environments, such as mechanically damaged, seawater and UV-irradiation. Due to the protonation and deprotonation of the pH-PU along with the changing of pH value, the wettability of fabric coating could be changed between the superhydrophobicity and underwater superoleophobicity by regulating pH value, and oil or water is able to be separated from an oil/water mixture. In addition, the damaged fabric coatings could restore their special wettability through simply heating, because fluorocarbon chains of F-OV-POSS in the coatings easily migrated to the outer surface of coatings. It is expected that this smart self-healing fabric coating with durable self-cleaning and oil/water separating performance would be a good case for practical applications in energy saving and sustainable development.