Vapor–Liquid Sol–Gel Approach to Fabricating Highly Durable and Robust Superhydrophobic Polydimethylsiloxane@Silica Surface on Polyester Textile for Oil–Water Separation

Large-scale fabrication of superhydrophobic surfaces with excellent durability by simple techniques has been of considerable interest for its urgent practical application in oil–water separation in recent years. Herein, we proposed a facile vapor–liquid sol–gel approach to fabricating highly durable and robust superhydrophobic polydimethylsiloxane@silica surfaces on the cross-structure polyester textiles. Scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy demonstrated that the silica generated from the hydrolysis–condensation of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) gradually aggregated at microscale driven by the extreme nonpolar dihydroxyl-terminated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS­(OH)). This led to construction of hierarchical roughness and micronano structures of the superhydrophobic textile surface. The as-fabricated superhydrophobic textile possessed outstanding durability in deionized water, various solvents, strong acid/base solutions, and boiling/ice water. Remarkably, the polyester textile still retained great water repellency and even after ultrasonic treatment for 18 h, 96 laundering cycles, and 600 abrasion cycles, exhibiting excellent mechanical robustness. Importantly, the superhydrophobic polyester textile was further applied for oil–water separation as absorption materials and/or filter pipes, presenting high separation efficiency and great reusability. Our method to construct superhydrophobic textiles is simple but highly efficient; no special equipment, chemicals, or atmosphere is required. Additionally, no fluorinated slianes and organic solvents are involved, which is very beneficial for environment safety and protection. Our findings conceivably stand out as a new tool to fabricate organic–inorganic superhydrophobic surfaces with strong durability and robustness for practical applications in oil spill accidents and industrial sewage emission.