New Nanotechnology for Architecture: Liquid Repelling Coating

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Image Credit: © Kevin Krejci | Flickr
Image Credit: © Kevin Krejci | Flickr

A new nanotechnology application has emerged where a special hydrophobic and oleophobic coating can be applied to almost any surface — and then that surface repels liquids like water and oil while also preventing rust, dirt, ice or grease from affecting the material’s surface. As you can imagine, nanotechnology applications emerge where within buildings such a coating can be applied to flooring, stairs, and rails to prevent slipping.

 

Other uses emerge for this coating as well. Just imagine protecting technologies that sit outside from natural elements like rain. The coating also helps to prevent corrosion, and it is even good for more sterile environments because it helps to prevent bacteria on treated surfaces. All in all, this nanotechnology coating can help buildings to be maintained, where their materials last longer.

 

So, what does this all mean?

 

Safer, Cleaner, and Longer Lasting Buildings?

There are a couple of examples where the use of such a nanotechnology coating still leaves questions to be answered. For example, this coating could help to keep building windows cleaner — but the coating is not made in a translucent “color” just yet. Also, what if this coating was applied to building materials, and then they caught fire. Could the fire be put out if such materials repelled liquid?

 

Of course, concrete coating in this nano material would stay cleaner longer — as it repels debris.

 

And this is only the beginning.

 

How might this coating impact the way buildings get perceived?

 

Well, building elements would behave a bit differently than expected. For starters, building materials would most always be dry. They would also be cleaner, and they would stay looking and feeling newer for longer. Plus, when it rained — the water would be repelled from the building, slipping right off. Walking within the building would prove to be safer, where shoe soles would grip the flooring materials that had been coated.

 

Do you think there are uses for such an innovation within buildings? And remember, repelling liquids is great, but there are times when you may want liquid to work on a material. So, it is important to be selective about where you use such a coating. The benefits must outweigh any risks.

About the author

Maria Lorena Lehman

Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary artist, designer, and author focusing on links between environmental design, science, emerging technologies, and human potential. Lehman is founder of MLL Atelier, an art-based architectural design research practice. Maria Lorena Lehman is author of the award-winning book entitled, Adaptive Sensory Environments. She is recipient of the Harvard University Digital Design Prize for the "most creative use of digital media in relation to the design professions". Lehman also creates sculptures and paintings described as "visual poetry of motion that is a new inspiration" by Daniel Smith, the company that creates watercolors for artists worldwide. Maria Lorena Lehman holds the degrees of Master in Design with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture, Cum Laude, from Virginia Tech. She is internationally published and in numerous periodicals, including The Architect's Journal, Esquisses Magazine, Architect Magazine and Forbes.