HighTech Finland › New Materials & Processes › All articles in this section   ›  Innovative surfaces that stay cleaner for longer

Forest Industry Applications
Manufacturing & Systems
Materials
Measurement & Testing
Transport & Logistics
All articles in this section

 

Innovative surfaces that stay cleaner for longer

Millidyne’s advanced surface treatment technologies offer enhanced hygiene and cleanability, corrosion and wear resistance, and novel electrical properties. Its Avalon® coatings, for example, are easy to keep clean and very effective at preventing bacteria from living or multiplying on surfaces – which is why Fläkt Woods uses Avalon® in its CleanVent® product line.

Many of Millidyne’s multifunctional coatings and nanocomposites are based on the company’s Sol-Gel technology, a wet chemical method that produces coatings with a typical thickness of less than 0.5 μm and can be used to dip-coat, spray, spin-coat, or brush-coat components of widely varying sizes and shapes.

Surfaces can incorporate a variety of properties, such as enhanced mechanical durability, hydrophobicity or oleophobicity, and corrosion resistance, as well as special optical, decorative, and electrical features. Further options are provided by inorganic-organic nanocomposites and self-organising nanostructures. Unique sets of properties impossible with conventional materials or surface treatment techniques can be achieved by combining different organic and inorganic components.

Better hygiene

Millidyne’s extensive family of Avalon® Sol-Gel coatings includes easy-clean, anti-microbial and corrosion- and scratch-resistant products for stainless steel and other metals, glass, ceramic, and plastic surfaces – suitable for use in numerous industrial applications, including electronics, construction, pulp and paper, and marine and automotive products.

Staining and dirt build-up are lower compared to conventional surfaces and, thanks to the biocide anchored in some Avalon® coatings, they have a long-lasting anti-microbial effect and offer better hygiene with less cleaning and downtime than other surfaces.

CleanVent® products are ideal anywhere cleanliness and hygiene are particularly important. The low surface energy, smooth surface topography, and inert electrical charge of the coatings on CleanVent® products keep them cleaner for longer.

Unique CleanVent® units from Fläkt Woods

One company to have made use of the dirt-resistant qualities of surfaces coated with Millidyne’s Avalon® technology is Fläkt Woods (www.flaktwoods.com), which has incorporated it into its unique CleanVent® range of HVAC products.

A leading global supplier of energy-efficient air solutions for buildings, infrastructure, and industry and one of the top three companies in air climate systems in Europe, Fläkt Woods developed the Clean- Vent® range to bring a new standard of stay-clean surfaces to supply and exhaust air valves in the home and the office.

Dirty supply and exhaust air valves are a common problem in many buildings, and if they are not cleaned regularly, they can reduce the quality of indoor air and increase energy consumption – on top of how unattractive they look.

Thanks to their Avalon® coating, CleanVent® valves stay dirt-free for much longer than their conventional equivalents, which reduces the need for cleaning and ensures that air diffusion and throw patterns function as they should, saving on energy bills and improving life cycle costs.

Tests by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have shown that CleanVent® units collect up to 40% less dust and dirt on their surfaces than conventional powder-coated units. Their surfaces also repel fat and moisture.

Although CleanVent® valves must be dusted or vacuumed sometimes, only light cleaning is needed to remove any build-up of dirt, rather than the strong detergents, solvents, and abrasives often called for in conventional cleaning routines. This is particularly useful in locations that are difficult to get at. Valves that need to be cleaned less frequently and can be cleaned more safely also translate into better safety for cleaners and building maintenance personnel.

In addition to the home and the office, these properties also make CleanVent® air terminal devices ideal for hospitals, laboratories, and schools where cleanliness and hygiene are particularly important. Their ease of maintenance and reliability also make them a good choice for industrial kitchens, production plants, cruise ships – any location, in fact, that puts a premium on cleanliness and quality appearances.

Three factors, one great surface

Millidyne’s dirt-repellent Avalon® coating technology lies at the heart of Fläkt Woods’ new CleanVent® range of exhaust valves, supply valves, and active diffusers.

The secret behind the dirt-repellent surfaces of Fläkt Woods’ CleanVent® valves and diffusers lies in their low surface energy, smooth surface topography, and inert electrical charge.

Low surface energy means that dirt, mixed with water or in the form of grease, contacts the surface at a high angle and does not spread out or leave a trail on the surface when sliding away.

Compared to normal painted surfaces, which are often full of microscopic cracks and can be porous as well, Avalon®-coated surfaces are very smooth and even. They are also inert in terms of their electrical charge, eliminating the ‘attraction of opposites’ that can affect dirt particles and conventional surfaces.

> Mika Kolari
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)