Sapphire Repellency Treatment

Aculon’s Sapphire Repellency Treatment is the ideal solution for your sapphire coating needs. Post-treatment will instantly repel oil, water, and other liquids. Aculon also offers optimization services to assist with implementing this innovative technology into your process or product.

Sapphire Repellency Treatment

Aculon, an award-winning & proven supplier to numerous industries, introduces Aculon Sapphire Repellency Treatment, the best-in-class sapphire repellency technology. Make any sapphire substrate hydrophobic, oleophobic, and repellent to nearly any liquid! Aculon’s NanoClear Sapphire Treatment is abrasion resistant, easy to apply, optically clear and ultra thin. It can even be applied via several application methods!

  • Hydrophobic!
  • Oleophobic
  • 2-4 nm Thick
  • Uniform Thickness
  • 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 Sapphire Treatment  typically imparts inital water contact angles of around 115 degrees and oil contact angles around 85 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 sapphire substrates.

Contact Angles

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 provide you with the technical support including materials and procedures to treat at your facility. Click the button 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 Sapphire 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 which is covalently bound to the surface. Just how durable or how long will the treatment last? Well that depends on the part and application!

Abrasion Resistance

Aculon Sapphire 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. Fortunately, if a part that is damaged it can easily be retreated.

Chemical Resistance

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

 

Temperature Resistance

Aculon Sapphire Repellency Treatment is stable to 225C 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: Treatment

Option – Dip

Apply Aculon Sapphire Treatment via dip bath to fully treat parts with a uniform treatment ensuring even coverage over entire part. Please note that this is only an option for custom applications. Contact us now to see how we can work to implement this solution into your facility.

Option – Wipe

Apply Aculon Sapphire Repellency Treatment via an easy to apply wipe. Purchase a treatment kit today. Can also be applied via wipe using bulk material purchases for large volume applications. Contact us today to see how we can assist!

Cleaning

Water break free surface for cleaning
A properly cleaned and prepared surface is imperative for Aculon Sapphire Repellency Treatment to properly bond with the surface and offer desired performance. The level of cleanliness can play a role in performance and durability/lifetime of the treatment. Cleaning Methods can be summarized into Good, Better, & Best Options. The below cleaning options assume that the part to be treated has been sufficiently degreased and cleaned of all visual contaminants first. The best results are achieved when a water break free surface is achieved (typically better & best).

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 glass repellency treatment process.

FAQs

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 technically superhydrophobic. Although the term “superhydrophobic” has somewhat taken over nomenclature, a durable superhydrophobic coating is a unicorn, it does not exist. Current superhydrophobics rely on surface microstructuring and while impressive at first (you’ve have seen the youtube videos) are extremely fragile and offer terrible longevity (now go check the Amazon reviews of these products). We have found that hydrophobic coatings are sufficient for 95% of our clients’ applications.

Is it Oleophobic?
Yes! Aculon Sapphire 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.

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

Download a PDF of the PowerPoint Presentation

Do your sapphire components get dirty or covered in oil and contaminants that inhibit optical clarity? During this 30 minute webinar you will learn how to improve the performance of your sapphire with Aculon’s ultra-thin, easy to apply, optically clear, durable nanocoating to repel liquids and oils to keep your sapphire free from fouling liquids and contaminants. Applications for this technology include: aerospace, automotive, medical, oil & gas, optics, sensor instrumentation and more…RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW!

Participants in this 30-minute webinar will learn:

  • How Aculon Sapphire Repellency Treatments are applied
  • About the treatments performance Characteristics: Optical Clarity, Thickness, Repellency, etc.
  • About the durability of the treatment after application and what exposure conditions are acceptable
  • Materials that are proven to be repelled by the Sapphire Repellency Treatment
  • Learn about proven field use applications