A novel development for improving the surface appearance of plastics is the “Lotus-Effect” from Degussa’s Aerosil & Silanes business unit, Parsippany, N.J.
A novel development for improving the surface appearance of plastics is the “Lotus-Effect” from Degussa’s Aerosil & Silanes business unit, Parsippany, N.J. This effect causes the surface of plastics to become highly hydrophobic (water repellent) so that water droplets resting on the plastic take a spherical shape. Dirt particles reportedly also are repelled by the plastic and are easily washed away by rainwater. The Lotus-Effect is imparted by two new modified fumed silicas, Aeroxide LE 1 and LE 2. A dispersion of these white nano-sized powders is sprayed into the injection mold, where it is transferred to the plastic part, making it “self-cleaning.” Studies are under way for applying this effect to extrusion, blow molding, and thermoforming.