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Interfacing superhydrophobic silica nanoparticle films with graphene and thermoplastic polyurethane for wear/abrasion resistance

Naderizadeh, Sara, Athanassiou, Athanassia, Bayer, Ilker S.
Journal of colloid and interface science 2018 v.519 pp. 285-295
abrasion resistance, aluminum, annealing, graphene, hydrophobicity, liquids, nanocomposites, nanoparticles, polyurethanes, silica, solvents, temperature, texture, thermoplastics, welding
Nanoparticle films are one of the most suitable platforms for obtaining sub-micrometer and nanometer dual-scale surface texture required for liquid repellency. The assembly of superhydrophobic nanoparticles into conformal and strongly adherent films having abrasion-induced wear resistance still poses a significant challenge. Various techniques have been developed over the years to render nanoparticle films with good liquid repellent properties and transparency. However, forming abrasion resistant superhydrophobic nanoparticle films on hard surfaces is challenging. One possibility is to partially embed or weld nanoparticles in thin thermoplastic primers applied over metals.Hexamethyldisilazane-functionalized fumed silica nanoparticle films spray deposited on aluminum surfaces were rendered abrasion resistant by thermally welding them into thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) primer applied a priori over aluminum. Different solvents, nanoparticle concentrations and annealing temperatures were studied to optimize nanoparticle film morphology and hydrophobicity.Thermal annealing at 150 °C enhanced stability and wear resistance of nanoparticle films. A thin thermal interface layer of graphene nanoplatelets (GnPs) between the primer and the nanoparticle film significantly improved superhydrophobic wear resistance after annealing. As such, superhydrophobic nanocomposite films with the GnPs thermal interface layer displayed superior abrasion-induced wear resistance under 20 kPa compared to films having no GnPs-based thermal interface.