07 September 2007
European Coatings Conference - Easy-to-Clean / Self-Cleaning Coatings - 29–30 November 2007 / Berlin, Germany
Dirt is a nuisance!
It really is! Dirt ruins the aesthetic appearance, it can debase technical functionalities, it may even be a health risk. But dirt, or, more general, unwanted surface contaminations, are almost everywhere. So, laborious or costly cleaning is usually a must – or is it? In recent times, especially with the advent of nanotechnology, architectural and industrial coatings have been developed that promise to make surfaces very easy to clean, or even prevent dirt pick-up in the first place. In addition, several recent industrial studies trying to identify the future demand for specific surface functionalities have come up with easy-to-clean properties at the top of the list. Meanwhile, easy-to-clean or, one step further, self-cleaning coatings applications are being put forward for facades, for sanitary surfaces, for industrial coatings, for wood coatings or for marine (antifouling) paints. The systems often rely on nanostructures at the coatings‘ surface – achieved via the incorporation of nanoparticles or via novel polymer architectures, or both. Ultrahydrophobicity, ultrahydrophilicity and photocatalytic effects are currently hotly debated keywords. More often than not, the coatings are mimicking biological models, such as the Lotus leaf surface, dolphin skin, or mechanisms by which sea organisms prevent fouling. While the proof-of-principle has been demonstrated for many of these systems, the current debate centres around their applicability, their effectivity in practice and their durability. Open questions also concern reliable yet easy-to-apply testing methods as well as standardisation issues.
Thus, for the first time within the ECC series, the European Coatings Conference “Easy-to-Clean / Self Cleaning Coatings” will focus on these topics, aiming to discuss on a high technical level the current state-of-the-art of such coatings in various practical applications and presenting new material developments and new concepts in this field – to find out what is possible and what is not. 16 international experts from industry and academia have been invited to deliver high-level technical presentations about their recent research results, and to face your critical questions. As always during the ECCs, interactive focus workshops on current technical issues will provide additional opportunities for an intense exchange of information.