Self-cleaning coating for textiles reduces need for cleaning chemicals.

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BASF has produced a nanotechnology, Mincor® TX TT, an innovative finishing material that endows technical textiles for awnings, sunshades, sails and tents with the same self-cleaning effect as the lotus. What on the surface of the plant leaves are tiny papillae, on treated textiles are innumerable particles with a diameter of less than 100 nanometers embedded in a carrier matrix. Whether nature or technology–the effect is the same: these tiny nubs keep water droplets and particles of dirt at bay. This is why: On the lotus plant, only two to three percent of the droplet surface is in contact with the plant leaf. Because this minimal contact is confined to the outermost tips of the papillae, the adhesive forces that would otherwise cause a droplet to spread are also minimal. Instead, the water’s surface tension forces prevail and invariably cause the droplet to form a spherical globule–and the water just rolls off. Particles of dirt, which also have hardly any contact with the leaf or treated fabric, are carried along by the droplets and washed away without any need for detergents or scrubbing.In 2006, polyester awning fabrics finished with Mincor® TX TT were very successful in achieving the transition from the laboratory to practical application, and fabrics for sunshades and sails treated with Mincor® TX TT are also now in the trial phase.Watch Video

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