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Issue 7, 2020
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A multi-scale modeling and simulation study to investigate the effect of roughness of a surface on its self-cleaning performance

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Abstract

The importance of surface roughness on wettability is vital in developing novel techniques and materials for fabrication of self-cleaning coatings. In this study, the effect of varying roughness of a surface on its wettability was explored through changing the interspacing (ai) and particle diameter (D) of ZnO agglomerated particles in poly(vinylacetate)-graft-poly(dimethylsiloxane) based coatings by constructing and simulating different atomistic and mesoscopic models. The surface roughness has been characterized in terms of roughness factor (Rq = D/ai). Compared to the base matrix, a maximum enhancement in fluid phobicity was observed to be 33% and 172% against water and oil for Rq = 0.9. The surface energy increased moderately (∼21%) and interaction energy against an Al substrate significantly (∼1251%) by a 15 wt% filler incorporation. The investigation reveals that both ai and filler concentration (thereby Rq) control imbibition of water/oil molecules by surface grooves to ensure limited wettability and useful self-cleaning ability. Specifically, optimal surface roughness is achieved at a critical Rq = 0.9 when the ZnO filler interspacing is neither too low for it to act as a continuous surface itself nor too high to allow easy penetration of fluid inside surface grooves.

Graphical abstract: A multi-scale modeling and simulation study to investigate the effect of roughness of a surface on its self-cleaning performance

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Article information


Submitted
23 May 2020
Accepted
07 Jul 2020
First published
17 Jul 2020

Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 2020,5, 1277-1289
Article type
Paper

A multi-scale modeling and simulation study to investigate the effect of roughness of a surface on its self-cleaning performance

S. K. Sethi, M. Singh and G. Manik, Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 2020, 5, 1277
DOI: 10.1039/D0ME00068J

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