New nano-coatings have an anti-adhesive, anti-corrosive and antimicrobial effect

April 11, 2017, Leibniz Institute for New Materials
New nano-coatings have an anti-adhesive, anti-corrosive and antimicrobial effect. Credit: Ollmann

When processing milk and juice, the food industry uses heat exchangers in numerous steps throughout the process. To protect consumers, heat exchangers have to be free from microbes. In the numerous grooves and recesses of the heat exchanger, persistent biofilms can remain stuck. As a result, heat exchangers must be cleaned at regular intervals using aggressive chemicals. These increase the sensitivity for corrosion, especially if mild steel is used as heat exchanger material. Now the INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials is introducing new nano-coatings that reduce the effort required for cleaning heat exchangers and preventing corrosion. In these new coatings, the research scientists combine antiadhesive, anticorrosive and antimicrobial properties.

The developers will be demonstrating their results and the possibilities they offer at stand B46 in hall 2 at this year's Hannover Messe which takes place from 24th to 28th April.

The developers achieved the anti-adhesive characteristics by introducing hydrophobic compounds that are similar to common Teflon. These inhibit the formation of any undesired biofilm and allow residues to be transported out more easily before they clog up the channels of the exchangers. At the same time, the researcher used structures that act as a diffusion barrier in the coatings. These inhibit corrosion provoked from substances or aggressive cleaning agents. To prevent microbes, bacteria or fungi from adhering to surfaces, the scientists additionally use colloidal copper in the coating. Due to the oxygen or water that is present in many processes, copper ions are released from the copper colloids. These migrate to the surface and, as a result of their antimicrobial effect, prevent microbes from proliferation and growth.

"In addition, we can keep the chemically stable. Otherwise, it would not withstand the that are required for cleaning," explained Carsten Becker-Willinger, head of nanomers at INM. Adding that the paint could also be adapted for special mechanical loads, he explained that this was important for paint used in heat exchangers, too. Due to mechanical vibrations, the individual plates of the heat exchangers could be subjected to a certain amount of abrasion at points of contact.

The paint could also be used in other contexts, Becker-Willinger said, including in air conditioning with heat exchangers. Furthermore, the paint could be used for equipment in water purification plants, for example.

The paint can be applied using standard methods such as spraying or immersion and subsequent hardening. It can be used on stainless steel, steel, titanium or aluminum. By selectively adapting individual constituents, the developers are able to respond to the particular, special requirements of interested users.

Explore further: New nano-paint reduces the cost of processing foodstuffs

Related Stories

New nano-paint reduces the cost of processing foodstuffs

April 14, 2016

When processing milk and juice, the food industry is required to maintain high standards of hygiene. This includes keeping the number of microbes at a minimum during the whole process so that there is no risk to the consumer. ...

Anti-microbial coatings with a long-term effect for surfaces

June 10, 2014

Researchers at the INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have now produced antimicrobial abrasion-resistant coatings with both silver and copper colloids with a long-term effect that kill germs reliably and at the same ...

Flake-like nanoparticles offer reliable rust protection

April 14, 2016

Large quantities of steel are used in architecture, bridge construction and ship-building. Structures of this type are intended to be long-lasting. Furthermore, even in the course of many years, they must not lose any of ...

Anti-microbial coatings with a long-term effect for surfaces

June 3, 2015

Hygienic conditions and sterile procedures are particularly important in hospitals, kitchens and sanitary facilities, air conditioning and ventilation systems, in food preparation and in the manufacture of packaging material. ...

Recommended for you

Atomic-scale ping-pong

June 20, 2018

New experiments by researchers at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester have shed more light on the gas flow through tiny, angstrom-sized channels with atomically flat walls.

Chameleon-inspired nanolaser changes colors

June 20, 2018

As a chameleon shifts its color from turquoise to pink to orange to green, nature's design principles are at play. Complex nano-mechanics are quietly and effortlessly working to camouflage the lizard's skin to match its environment.

Method could help boost large scale production of graphene

June 19, 2018

The measure by which any conductor is judged is how easily, and speedily, electrons can move through it. On this point, graphene is one of the most promising materials for a breathtaking array of applications. However, its ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.