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Assessment Of Super-Hydrophobic Textured Coatings On AA6082 Aluminum Alloy

Luigi Calabrese, Amani Khaskhoussi, Salvatore Patane, Edoardo Proverbio

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Superhydrophobicity is one of the most required surface properties for a wide range of application such as self-cleaning, anti-corrosion, oil-water separation, anti-icing, and anti-bioadhesion. Recently, several methods have been developed to produce nature inspired super-hydrophobic surfaces. Nevertheless, these methods require a complicated process and expensive equipment. In order to overcome these issues, we propose three different methods to obtain nature-inspired super-hydrophobic surfaces: short-term treatment with boiling water, HF/HCl and HNO3/HCl concentrated solution etching. Afterwards, a thin layer of octadecylsilane was applied by in situ polymerization on all pre-treated surfaces. Eventually, all substrates were dried for 3 h at 100 °C to complete the silane curing. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), contact angle measuring system and atomic force microscope (AFM) were used to characterize the surfaces. Surface morphology analysis showed that each method results in a specific dual hierarchical nano-/micro-structure. The corresponding water contact angles ranged from 160° to nearly 180°. The best results were observed for HF etched Al 6082 surface were water contact angle above 175° was achieved. Furthermore, a scheme able to assess the relationship between hydrophobic behavior and surface morphology was finally proposed.