Shiv Nadar University, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, research-focused and student-centric university, today announced the invention of a unique super-hydrophobic (water repelling) coating to eliminate discoloration of the surface, physical damage or corrosion on a long-term basis. Developed by extracting the nano-silica particles of rice husk (an agriculture waste product), it also has the potential to offer an alternative to crop residue burning by farmers, a major cause for air pollution in the northern part of the country. The self-cleaning coating is a cost-effective and eco-friendly substitute for the existing toxic paints and coatings available in the market. Inspired by the super-hydrophobic nature of the lotus leaves, the coating is developed by Dr. Harpreet Singh Grewal, Dr. Harpreet Arora, Associate Professors, and their research team at the School of Engineering at Shiv Nadar University.
The research has been sponsored by the Government of India’s Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and has been tested under extreme weather conditions including rain and storms. Results of the research indicate that the exposure to the outdoor conditions has no impact on the coating. Another important feature of the coating is that it is non-toxic and can be applied on all household appliances, buildings, automobiles and industrial components to help elongate their life. The existing paints and coatings available in the market contain toxic elements like Lead, Hexavalent Chromium or chemical compounds which cause serious health effects, such as reproductive problems, birth defects, and aggravated asthma due to air pollution.
Highlighting the importance of this invention coming out of agricultural waste, Dr Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University, Uttar Pradesh, said, “Dust and corrosion have a detrimental impact on the industrial and mechanical operations especially in regions that deal with the problem of heightened air pollution. Excessive corrosion leads to unnecessary wear-and-tear of machines and devices, reducing their efficacy and functional life. It is extremely rewarding, therefore, to see researchers at the Shiv Nadar University find a creative and sustainable solution to this wide-spread problem.”
Corrosion has a huge economic and environmental impact on virtually all facets of the infrastructure, from highways, bridges, and buildings to oil and gas rigs to factories and industrial plants. In addition to causing severe damage and being a potent threat to public safety, corrosion disrupts operations and requires extensive repair and replacement of failed assets. While this is understood, what is often left out of the equation or overlooked is the financial impact of this on the country. Studies have indicated that the global cost of corrosion is around US$ 2.5 trillion, which is equivalent to 3.4 % of the global GDP.
This research has been acclaimed globally, and has been published by the prestigious and specialized scientific journal, Progress in Organic Coatings.