Many silicone, Teflon, oil and acrylic-based products labels lay claim to the benefits of nanotechnology. But beware: Real nano products cannot be bought for just €9.90 at a supermarket forecourt! Although they may allow water to bead off quickly, they often do not withstand mechanical abrasion, evaporate very quickly, or produce unwelcome streaks. “Nano” is unfortunately not a protected term. This means that there are many imitations on the market that are not real nano products. All you can do is try out the respective product and make your own decision.
In contrast, real nano sealants produce the desired effect over the long term thanks to the firm bond between the seal and the surface. The principle of Nanotol is based on the establishment of mechanical bonds which do not undergo any chemical reactions, cause unwelcome odours and which withstand mechanical stress. This makes Nanotol unique the world over.
Nanotechnology has been in use in a wide variety of scientific fields for about ten years. The term refers to the systematic analysis and manipulation of materials in a dimension that was once invisible even to microscopes: the nanometre range. There are one million nanometres in a millimetre, an order of magnitude that is difficult to imagine, let alone explain. Nevertheless, nanotechnology has incredible potential for modern science and technology.
Materials manipulated on the nanometre scale are being researched or are already being used in many different areas: in the energy sector, the chemical industry, for building materials, in the electronics industry, in information technology and in biotechnology.
It is expected that nanotechnology will start impacting on almost all industrial sectors in the medium term. Their potential applications range from the optimisation of existing products and processes, through product innovations, to a revolutionary redesign of production. Nanotechnology will therefore impact on all areas of social life.
Nanoparticles have completely different material properties than particles that can be seen with the naked eye or an ordinary microscope. In nanotechnology, the properties and structures of materials are selectively manipulated at the supramolecular level in order to functionalise their surfaces. In surface technology, nanoparticles are used specifically to form nano-polymer chains, which firmly attach themselves to surfaces like a mesh.
The method of applying nanoparticles is comparable to impregnation – and the result is a nanostructured surface. This surface can, for example, be water repellent (hydrophobic). The best example of this effect from nature that we know of is the lotus effect. There are also many particles in nature that are sized in nanometres (Lotus Blossom, colloidal silver (known as medicament), pollen, lamp black, etc.).
The synthetic development of nanometre scale particles has now opened up a new perspective and has made it possible to produce such particles on an industrial scale and use them commercially in products for end users. Nanotechnology products that can be used in the private sphere have fascinating effects and advantages. From practical applications such as keeping dirt at bay (cleaning, dirt repellents) through to preserving objects’ value, longevity and aesthetics (car paints, roof tiles).
The lotus effect is a physical-chemical rather than biological phenomenon and has the effect of making surfaces hydrophobic, i.e. water repellent. The contact angle is of key importance here: the higher the contact angle, the more hydrophobic the surface. That’s the secret of Nanotol.
On a surface utilising the lotus effect, the actual contact area is only two to three percent of the area covered by a water droplet. That is because the drop rests on this area like it would do on a bed of nails made of crayons and will only be touching the tips of these crayons. As a result, the attractive force between the water and the substrate is reduced, and the drops of water take on a spherical shape.
Surfaces showing such a low wettability cannot get wet. Even when it comes to cleaning. Stuck-on dirt, however, can only be removed with water. The lotus effect looks good in advertising – but offers virtually no advantages for cleaning.
If you want to clean a surface with water, it must also have the ability to be wetted with water. A completely water-repellent surface cannot be cleaned with water. I.e. the surface begins to smear as soon as it comes into contact with water.
The ideal contact angle must necessarily be between the normal and the hydrophobic contact angle so that loose dirt can be dragged along during drainage and any stuck-on dirt can be removed by the water. That’s exactly what Nanotol was developed for. Nanotol acts not only as a water, but also as a grease, dirt and oil repellent.
On a nanotoled surface, water beads, rolls off on encountering gradients and takes any dirt with it as it does so. At the same time, nanotoled surfaces are smoothed in such a way that dirt, lime scale or grease cannot attach and can easily be removed using plain water. This protects the surface and ensures that its value is retained in the long-term.