AcuWet™ Hydrophilic Coating Products
Aculon’s hydrophilic treatments can bond with many different surfaces at the nano-scale to create extremely water-attracting surfaces. This innovative hydrophilic coating technology is extremely easy to apply using different methods, many requiring little or no costly capitol equipment.
AcuWet™ Hydrophilic Coating Products
Aculon’s patented hydrophilic surface treatments come into their own in environments and conditions characterized by the need for a lubricious or water-attracting surface. Our range of hydrophilic technologies, AcuWet™, services a wide array of applications and durability requirements.
Aculon serves as a partner to many healthcare companies seeking to create lubricious surfaces on medical devices. Many of our innovative hydrophilic technologies are biocompatible and improve performance in many medical devices. Additionally, our coatings are very easy to apply; many requiring only the submersion of the part in our coating for 30 seconds to be fully functional (with no cure).
VP of Technology Eric Hanson discusses the difference between hydrophobic and hydrophilic technologies
AcuWet™ Hydrophilic Coating Contact Angles
In general, Aculon® AcuWet™ hydrophilic coatings impart contact angles of less than 20 degrees. The specific contact angle is a product of which technology is selected as well as what substrate is being treated. Some treatments provide even more enhanced performance, resulting in contact angles of less than 10 degrees.
AcuWet™ Hydrophilic Coating Durability
Our hydrophilic coatings typically see durability similar to our hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings. Our products range from low durability (AcuWet™ HB Surfactant) up to near permanent lifespans (AcuWet™ SGP).
For robust bonding and optimum performance, a properly cleaned and prepared surface is imperative when using Aculon® AcuWet hydrophilic surface treatments. 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).
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:
- Other Solvent Degreasers
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)
- Syria polish (abrasive scrub)
- Comet abrasive (or other polishing compound)
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)
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.
How thick is the treatment?
Depending on the deposition technique and specific coating selected, our hydrophilic coatings range from 100nm to 20 microns in thickness.
How do you know the thickness?
Via QCM, AFM, and XRD we have quantified monolayer thicknesses. Also, the actives generally react with the surface but not themselves, so theoretically, the treatments are limited to the chemistries monomolecular chain lengths.
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.