The proposed project is aiming at the development of novel, high-performance multifunctional paints\coatings combining hydrophobic/self-cleaning/anti-icing properties with mechanical durability and enhanced weather stability.
To that end, incorporation of specially developed silica-based nanoadditives will be pursued in actual coatings formulations.
Special attention is given to the structural characteristics (such as size, shape, apparent density) of silica nanoparticles and their surface functionalization, attaching appropriate functional groups that will impart poor water wetting to the final coating. In particular, cubic siloxanes (silsesquioxanes) have been synthesized from the hydrolytic condensation of an organosilicon precursor, allowing the design and “construction” of materials with extremely well-defined dimensions and behavior.
Cubic siloxanes of the type X8Si8O12, where X can be a single or a more complex functional group, have been employed as precursor reagents. The silylating reagents exhibit different end groups (e.g. methyl, fluoro groups) and different alkyl chain lengths. Moreover, monodisperse and uniform-sized silica nanoparticles have been prepared using ultrasonication during the sol–gel process. The nanoparticles are obtained by hydrolysis of silica precursors in ethanol medium.