Metal Repellency Treatment

Best-In-Class Hydrophobic Metal Coating

Aculon, an award-winning & proven supplier to numerous industries, introduces Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment, the best-in-class hydrophobic metal technology. Enhance the hydrophobic and oleophobic properties of your metal surface. For information on purchasing, please contact us. We also offer optimization services to assist with implementing this innovative technology into your process.

Metal Repellency Treatment

Aculon, an award-winning & proven supplier to numerous industries, introduces Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment, the best-in-class metal repellency technology. Aculon’s metal repellency technology renders any metal surfaces hydrophobic, oleophobic, and repellent to nearly any liquid. (For Precious Metal please see Aculon Precious Metal Treatment for an optimized treatment designed for precious metals.) Aculon’s Metal Repellency Treatment is easy to apply, optically clear and ultra thin. It can even be applied via several application methods. Features include:

  • Hydrophobicity
  • Oleophobicity
  • Uniform Thickness (2-4nm thick)
  • Repel Near All Liquids
  • Long Lasting Repellent Performance
  • Optically Clear
  • Apply via Dip or Wipe
  • No Capital Equipment
  • Durable Treatment
  • Apply in Minutes

Performance

Aculon’s Metal Repellency Treatment is our bread and butter. Our most stable coating technology, Metal Repellency Treatment typically imparts inital water contact angles of around 120 degrees and oil contact angles around 90 degrees. After significant abrasion cycles, these contact angles are only slightly affected. This technology results in a stable hydrophobic and oleophobic coating that can be applied to nearly all metals.

Metal repellency water contact angle | Hydrophobic metal coating

Metal Repellency oil contact angle graph | Oleophobic Metal

Customization

If you have large volume requirements or a specialized application requiring our technical support, please contact us directly. As part of lab services business we regularly work with customers to implement our technology for your process or application. These services include optimizing a process to treat your parts at our facility or providing you with the technical support including materials and procedures to treat parts at your facility. Click below to submit your information and an applications expert will reach out to see how we can assist.

Please note we are a B2B company and do not support consumer inquiries.

Durability

Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment is extremely durable relative to competitive nanoscale repellent treatments. Unlike other technologies requiring surface microstructuring (inherently very fragile) Aculon’s technology is a non toxic chemical treatment that covalently binds to the surface. Just how durable or how long will the treatment last? Well that depends on the part and application!

Abrasion Resistance

Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment is only 2-4 nm thick. It is covalently bound to the substrate and thus very stable. While it will reduce impact damage as the Aculon treatment make the surface lubricious and therefore more likely that impacts to glance off the surface, the treatment is too thin to add any direct scratch or gouge resistance or hardness to the part. A treated part will behave as normal (untreated) when exposed to a scratching/polishing/abrasive action. In other words if an action polishes, scratches, or abrades your untreated part (from here on out “impacts”) it will do the same to your treated part, removing the treatment in the process. As you can imagine the amount of force needed to impact aluminum vs titanium is far different. The abrasion durability is dependent on the substrate that has been treated as a result. Fortunately, if a part is damaged it can easily be retreated.

Chemical Resistance

Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment is chemically resistant to nearly all liquid chemicals! See below for lists of compatible and incompatible materials:

Compatible

  • Organic Solvents
    • Acetone
    • IPA
    • Petroleum
    • Etc
  • Neutral Aqueous Solvents (up to pH 9)
  • Acidic Solvents which do NOT etch your substrate

Not Compatible

  • Caustic Aqueous Solvents (pH 10+)

UV Resistance

Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment is impacted by UV over time. Level of degradation depends on exposure time & intensity. Anywhere from weeks to months before reapplication is required can be expected. Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment is not intended for outdoor applications where a permanent treatment is required.

Temperature Resistance

Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment is stable to 250C before the chemical structure is damaged and performance impacted. There is no known lower temperature threshold which damages the treatment.

Step 1: Clean

Parts Must be sufficiently clean prior to treatment for proper bonding and effective application. See “Cleaning” tab for more detail.

Step 2: Primer

Option – Dip

Fully immerse the part in the Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment solution for 30 seconds. Withdraw the part at a steady rate to ensure even coverage. Allow to dry or cure depending on your substrate. Contact us now to see how we can work to implement this solution into your facility.

Option – Wipe

Using a clean cloth apply Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment by wiping the treatment across the surface in a buffing motion for 1 minute per square foot.

Cleaning

For robust bonding and optimum performance a properly cleaned and prepared surface is imperative when using Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment. Cleaning Methods can be summarized into Good, Better, & Best Options. The cleaning options below assume that the part being treated has first been sufficiently degreased and cleaned of all visual contaminants. Optimal bonding is typically achieved when a water break free surface is achieved (usually better & best cleaning options).

Water break free surface for cleaning

Good

Often times a good enough cleaning method is sufficient when your process needs to be simple and future reapplication is not inconvenient. Good enough cleaning methods sufficiently clean the surface but do not necessarily achieve a water break free surface, which indicates a perfectly clean surface. Examples of good enough cleaning methods include:

  • Windex
  • IPA
  • Other Solvent Degreasers

Better

When performance and durability are important or when reapplication is not practical a more reliable and an efficient cleaning method is necessary. Better options are designed to achieve a water break free surface (perfectly clean) on the vast majority of parts against a variety of different contaminations. Better cleaning methods typically utilize more aggressive chemicals and may require rinsing or specific procedures to ensure proper results. Examples of “better” cleaning methods include:

  • Aculon 905 (Room Temp Caustic cleaner)
  • Ceria polish (abrasive scrub)
  • Comet abrasive (or other polishing compound)

Best

When performance and durability are critical and reapplication is absolutely not practical the absolute best cleaning options are required. These options are designed to achieve a uniform water break free surface (perfectly clean) reliably on all parts. These Best cleaning methods utilize more aggressive chemicals requiring rinsing and specific steps to ensure proper results. In some cases physical cleaning methods are utilized. Care should be taken when using these methods as they are potentially hazardous to the operator and part to be coated. Examples of “best” cleaning methods include:

  • Aculon 907 (Heated Caustic cleaning dip)
  • Argon Plasma
  • Corona Discharge
  • Piranha bath (H2SO4/H2O2)

Custom

Not sure what level of cleaning your parts require? Contact Aculon and we will work with you to determine the level of cleanliness needed for your application and to determine a cleaning method that fits your process.

FAQ

How thick is the treatment?
2-4 nanometers

How do you know it is only 2-4 nm thick?
Via XPS and other sensitive optical measurements such as ellipsometry we can quantitatively confirm thickness. The treatment is a self limiting reaction which does not cross link, so we know the thickness is limited to the chemistries molecular chain length.

Can I see the treatment?
No, it is 100% optically clear. Minus the change in performance your properly treated part will look exactly the same.

100% clear? Really? There must be some reflected or absorbed loss?
Yes 100% clear, 100% transmission with no reflected or absorbed losses. Spectral reflectance can not detect the coatings presence on the surface.

Do I need to clean the part? It looks clean enough.
Yes, to get a properly performing coating it must be cleaned no matter how it looks just prior to treatment. Unseen organic and inorganic contaminants can prevent bonding. Atmospheric contaminants will quickly contaminate a part that has been left to sit.

How do I know if the part is 100% clean?
It is water break free. Note that “good” cleaning options may not clean to this level.

Is it superhydrophobic? (contact angle 150 degree plus)
No, while very hydrophobic (and also oleophobic) it is not superhydrophobic. A durable super hydrophobic treatment is a unicorn, it does not exist. Current superhydrophobics rely on surface microstructuring and while impressive at first (I know you have seen the youtube videos) are extremely fragile and offer terrible longevity (now go check the Amazon reviews of these products).

Is it Oleophobic?
Yes! Aculon Metal Repellency Treatment repels oils with oil contact angles in the 80-90 degree range.

Will you sell me a smaller amount to treat my sunglasses or car windshield?
Sorry, but at this time Aculon is a business to business company and is only working on commercial accounts and is not supporting consumer requests.

What substrates does it work on?
Every metal. For Precious metals see the optimized Precious Metal Treatment. Also, oxide containing surfaces such as ceramic and epoxies.

Is it possible to over apply the treatment?
No, the treatment is a self limiting reaction and does not crosslink to form thicker layers.