Hydromer® takes hydrophilic coatings into industrial applications

in Oct 01, 2020

Learn more about our industrial coatings and applications and how they apply to you!

Industrial coatings are usually thought of as paints and sealers, such as epoxy, urethane, and typical acrylic and oil house paint, just to name a few examples. Yet, one type of coating often not associated with industrial, that is essential to many industrial applications, are hydrophilic coatings. In this blog I will explain why hydrophilic coatings are critical for various applications in the industrial field.

First, we must define ‘hydrophilic’ in order to better understand what it can do for industrial products and devices. Hydrophilic, as mentioned in our last blog post, ‘Why Hydrophilic Coatings?’ (read that post HERE) is most easily defined as “water-loving” or “lubricious”. So, what does that mean for industrial applications? It means the coating will assist with dispersing water evenly as well as wick it away from the surface, which provides a clear field of vision for the device or product. Essentially, hydrophilic coatings are, along with other attributes, basically anti-fog, and condensation control coatings. However, the first application Hydromer® used hydrophilic coatings on was medical devices including endotracheal tubes, guidewires, and feeding tubes. This use of the lubricious coating was intended to make the medical devices ‘slippery-when-wet’, which allows the devices to reach faster, further, and easier than ever before.

Now let’s get back to industrial uses for our hydrophilic coatings. As we mentioned before, there are many applications that use hydrophilic, anti-fog, and condensation control coatings. Industries that are probably most commonly associated with anti-fog coatings are aerospace, automotive, and eyewear. Although that is only my opinion as a subject-matter-expert, it does seem to be the most accurate. Other industries like agriculture, food and beverage, and led/optics and electronics, seem to be less thought of. The agricultural industry uses for anti-fog coatings can be green house panels (keeping condensation build-up from happening,  not allowing unwanted water to drip on plants, and allowing the full sun to reach them for photosynthesis), solar panels (again allowing the water to disperse as to not block sunrays, therefore giving the panels their maximum charge potential.), sensors (allowing the process to continue working without a delay that may be caused by fogging or condensation build up).

Food and beverage may be one of the most overlooked industries in need of Hydromer® anti-fog and condensation control. When you go to the deli or the bakery, some of the cases may be foggy, resulting in you not to being able to see the food inside. Ugh, I wanted cheesecake but all I can see is cherry pie… Oh well, I’ll move on. Hydromer® anti-fog coatings could have prevented that! Also, think about this: you are at the supermarket in the frozen food department and the freezer doors are all fogged. You may do one of two things. If you are just perusing the aisle, you may just walk on past something that would have normally caught your eye, or you have to open the freezer door, thus allowing the cool air to escape, not only making you freezing cold, but also costing the supermarket extra money while you look around for things you may want. Hydromer® hydrophilic coatings can also be used as an anti-frost coating!

As for LED/optical and electronics applications, you may be able to think of a few off the top of your head, such as computer parts, sensors, and even electronics like cameras, rugged hand held CPU’s, or maybe even a few more; but did you think that maybe commercial LED stage lights or LED headlights might have an issue without anti-fog coatings? Well, there definitely can be a big issue, such as if you were at a concert or indoor show and the lights got all foggy from condensation build-up, which could alter the entire ambience. The lights would not project properly, and I didn’t pay all this money to come watch The Beatles Love Show to sit in the dark and just hear music… I could have done that at home! Or imagine you are driving late at night and its cooler outside than it was earlier that day and your head light covers get all hazy and the oncoming car doesn’t see you? That would be super scary!

So, what benefits do Hydromer® coatings provide? Well, we offer protection for not only equipment and processes, but primarily for your customers and yourselves. The next time you are developing, manufacturing, or even hatching an idea for a product, consider this: does your product or customer need to be protected from fogging or frosting? If the answer is yes, then contact us, the coating experts! Or if it’s no, contact us anyways, because you never know, you may need it but just don’t know it yet! 😊