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New Nanotechnology Applications for Architecture: Liquid Repelling Coating (Video)

Image Credit: © Kevin Krejci | Flickr

A new nanotechnology application has emerged where a special hydrophobic and oleophobic coating can be applied to almost any surface — and then that surface repels liquids like water and oil while also preventing rust, dirt, ice or grease from affecting the material’s surface. As you can imagine, nanotechnology applications emerge where within buildings such a coating can be applied to flooring, stairs, and rails to prevent slipping.

Other uses emerge for this coating as well. Just imagine protecting technologies that sit outside from natural elements like rain. The coating also helps to prevent corrosion, and it is even good for more sterile environments because it helps to prevent bacteria on treated surfaces. All in all, this nanotechnology coating can help buildings to be maintained, where their materials last longer.

So, what does this all mean?

Safer, Cleaner, and Longer Lasting Buildings?

There are a couple of examples where the use of such a nanotechnology coating still leaves questions to be answered. For example, this coating could help to keep building windows cleaner — but the coating is not made in a translucent “color” just yet. Also, what if this coating was applied to building materials, and then they caught fire. Could the fire be put out if such materials repelled liquid?

Of course, concrete coating in this nano material would stay cleaner longer — as it repels debris.

And this is only the beginning.

How might this coating impact the way buildings get perceived?

Well, building elements would behave a bit differently than expected. For starters, building materials would most always be dry. They would also be cleaner, and they would stay looking and feeling newer for longer. Plus, when it rained — the water would be repelled from the building, slipping right off. Walking within the building would prove to be safer, where shoe soles would grip the flooring materials that had been coated.

Do you think there are uses for such an innovation within buildings? And remember, repelling liquids is great, but there are times when you may want liquid to work on a material. So, it is important to be selective about where you use such a coating. The benefits must outweigh any risks.

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Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

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