08. November 2019

WOOD K plus: Science Award for Water-Repellent Wood Surface

To protect wood from damage caused by excess water absorption the Smart Wood and Natural Materials (SWNM) team in Tulln developed a so-called superhydrophobic coating for wood products that causes water droplets to roll off immediately.

On 17 June 2019, Benjamin Arminger, on behalf of the team, accepted first prize from Tulln Rotary Club. During the Science Award ceremony in the function room of Tulln district council special mention was made of the biomimetic approach, namely to borrow a solution observed in nature and incorporate it in technology: the surface is inspired by the nanoscopic structures of the lotus leaf, which is known for its water-repellent properties.

Unlike comparable coatings, this surface can be sprayed onto wood materials very easily. No special equipment is necessary, and the procedure is quick, inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

Immediately afterwards, from 18 – 20 June, Jan Janesch (also a member of the SWNM) and Benjamin Arminger were able to take part in the “International Conference of Applied Surface Science” in Pisa. Both presented new coating methods that met with great interest from their colleagues from the different spheres of research and industry. Conversely, new and inspirational ideas for possible wood surfaces of the future were of course also brought to Tulln.

(c) M. Grühbaum