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NEWS
Research May Lead To More Environmentally Friendly Paints and Coatings
September 10, 2020

New research from Binghamton University, State University of New York could lead to more environmentally friendly paints and coatings.

In Roman mythology, the god Janus had two faces so that he could see clearly into both the past and future.

Janus particles have a similar dual nature, because they are engineered to have two surfaces each with distinct physical properties. One combination for a Janus particle is to have one side hydrophilic (attracted to water) and the other hydrophobic (water repellant).

Until recently, Janus particles could not be produced in large quantities, and their commercial applications were unclear. A Binghamton coauthored study, led by researchers at Iowa State University, shows that the nanoparticles could be the key to more environmentally friendly paints and coatings.

Xin Yong — an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science — teamed up with Iowa State’s Shan Jiang (an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering) and Chunhui Xiang (an assistant professor in its Department of Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management) for a study recently published in Materials Horizons.

“Previous studies are heavily focused on structures formed by these particles at a very small scale, because they have unique surface properties,” Prof. Yong said. “In this study, we are trying to use these particles to improve the performance of paints and coating, which no one has ever thought about.”

For the paper “Self-stratification of amphiphilic particles at coating surfaces,” the research team mixed hydrophilic/hydrophobic Janus particles with commercial paints, then painted surfaces to see how the particles would react.

The result: The hydrophilic side oriented to the surface and helped the coatings adhere better, while the hydrophobic side faced toward the surface and made it water-repellant. The researchers also found that the particles diffused and arranged themselves into self-stratifying layers more quickly and in ways that did not completely follow their hypotheses.

According to information, the team believes that Janus particles can prove to be beneficial in many other applications, including cosmetics, 3D printing and drug formulations.


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