Development of a Semicontinuous Spray Process for the Production of Superhydrophobic Coatings from Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Solutions

Superhydrophobic surfaces have been fabricated in a continuous spray process, where an alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) wax is dissolved in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) and sprayed onto the substrate. The mass of extracted AKD from scCO2 has been investigated as well as the pressure, temperature, and flow of CO2 at the steady-state spray conditions. Several different substrates such as glass, aluminum, paper, poly­(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) have been successfully coated, and the superhydrophobic properties have been evaluated by measurement of water contact angle, water drop friction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and surface topography. The most efficient spray process, considering surface properties and mass of extracted AKD, is obtained at the lowest temperature investigated, 67 °C, and the highest pressure evaluated in this study, 25 MPa. We also show that the influence of preexpansion conditions (p, T) on the surface temperature at the selected spray distance (3 cm) is negligible by measurement with an infrared camera during spraying.