Photocatalysis - Paints with added value
We succeeded in engineering a long-lasting coating solution with enhanced self-cleaning properties by combining a photocatalytically acting pigment with mineral binder systems.
Photoactive, mineral paints provide a true added value compared to common organically bound paint materials (e.g. dispersion or silicone resin paints.).
Interesting facts about photocatalysis
A photocatalyst absorbs the energy of light, transfers the energy to a reactive compound and triggers a chemical reaction, often times by forming radicals.
The conversion of nitrogen oxides (NOx) into nitrate, for example, is initiated by the photocatalyst titanium dioxide under the influence of light.
The photocatalyst does not consume itself during the photocatalytic reaction. This is why the photocatalytic effect lasts over the entire lifetime of the coating.
A hydrophilic surface supports the self-cleaning of facade surfaces when they are wetted by rain or dew moisture. A photocatalytic silicate facade paint becomes hydrophilic under light influence (see picture 1). The coating reduces the surface tension of the water, which makes it easier to wash away dirt.
Water spreads out like a thin film over the surface. The spreading enlarges the evaporation surface and thus makes the drying speed higher than a hydrophobic coating. The drying process is clearly faster on the extremely large and specific surface of a microporous silicate coating (compared to a conventional dispersion coating).
And drier surfaces do not provide good conditions for algae and fungi growth.
Silicate coatings are anti-static and non-thermoplastic. So dirt particles do not adhere very well to the surface.
Photocatalytic mineral paints in exterior spaces contribute to the decomposition of atmospheric air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, greenhouse gases or superficial contaminations (see picture 2). By doing this, the durability of the inorganically bound coating is not reduced.
Photoactive coatings decompose many other pollutants apart from nitrogen oxides, for example sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), solvents, formaldehyde or even fats and acids.
Photocatalytic mineral paints offer long-lasting clean facade surfaces thanks to the mineral binder system and photocatalytically active pigments and provide at the same time a useful contribution to better air quality.
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