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

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


Surfaces that stay cleaner longer

Millidyne’s advanced coating materials and surface treatment technologies – offering unique combinations of properties – are ideal for a wide range of applications. From keeping ships’ windows and ventilations systems cleaner for longer to improving the hygiene of floors, doors, and other surfaces in hospitals and swimming pools.

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.

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.

Surfaces treated with Millidyne products can incorporate a variety of properties, such as enhanced mechanical durability, hydrophobicity or oleophobicity, and corrosion resistance, as well as other features.

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.

Customers looking to make use of the advantages of Millidyne’s nano-based coatings through a turnkey service can now turn to the company’s affiliate, milliclean. Milliclean’s services cover a wide range of applications and end-uses for the public and private sectors. Hospitals, old people’s homes, schools, kindergartens, swimming pools, and buses, trains, and trams can all benefit from the antibacterial properties Avalon® coatings offer.

The reduced cleaning requirement, lower surface friction, and anti-scratch properties associated with Avalon®-coated surfaces can also be useful in these areas, as they can be in the marine, automotive, and pulp and paper sectors.

Avalon® 22, for example, is ideal for locations needing an easy-clean antimicrobial surface, and Avalon® 25 for glass and ceramic surfaces, while Avalon® Ocean provides a low-friction antifouling treatment for boats and ships that can reduce a hull’s friction coefficient by as much as 10%.

Color Line’s Superspeed 1 was built in Finland and delivered in February 2008. Optimised for overall performance and sea-keeping at speed, the vessel recently received a coating of Millidyne’s Avalon® 25 on its windows to keep them cleaner from salt build-up for longer. Photo courtesy of STX Finland.

Reducing the effect of sea spray

Anyone who has played around in boats when they were a kid, cut through the waves in a speed boat when they are older, or travelled on a ferry knows that salt water spray leaves a stubborn stain on surfaces. The faster you go, the more spray, and the more surfaces and the more stains there are to clean.

Ferry companies operating the latest generation of high-speed ropax ships – like Norway’s Color Line – know this only too well. To reduce the build-up of salt from spray on their M/S Superspeed 1, capable of speeds of up to 31 knots, Color Line contacted Culminatum Innovation and the Nanotechnology Centre of Expertise in the Helsinki Region for advice.

They recommended Millidyne and its Avalon® range of products. As a result, the Superspeed 1 arrived in Helsinki in January 2011 to receive a coating of Avalon® 25 on all its windows. Applied as an alcoholbased solution, this forms a very thin film that is highly resistant to water and grease, as well as chemicals, harsh weather conditions, and mechanical wear, and is very easy to clean as well.

In the case of the Superspeed 1, Avalon® 25 will prevent the salt contained in sea spray from building up on its windows and reducing visibility and make cleaning quicker, easier, and more effective.

Leveraging Finland’s nano expertise

Finland’s Nanotechnology Cluster Programme involves eight local Centres of Expertise and covers more than 90% of the country’s nano- and microtechnology- and new materials-related activities and stakeholders.

Local Centres of Expertise offer services ranging from partnering and information transfer to project build-up and promotion of the benefits of nanotechnology in industries such as mechanical engineering, energy, environment, chemicals, living, health and well-being, ICT, and electronics. The mission is to foster the profitable and responsible growth of Finnish nanotechnology related business. In addition to serving Finnish companies, Nanocluster acts as the gateway to Finnish Nanotechnology expertise for international stakeholders.

The Helsinki Region plays a key role in Finnish nanotechnology, as more than half of all the country’s activities and stakeholders in the field are located here. The Nanotechnology Centre of Expertise in the Helsinki Region is facilitated by Culminatum Innovation, a non-profit development company owned by academia, municipalities, and the business sector through a triple-helix ownership structure. Culminatum is responsible for running all the local Centres of Expertise within the Helsinki Region and also handles the national-level coordination of three focus areas (nanotechnology, living business, and digibusiness).

> Mika Kolari, Jussi Roine & Mika Koskenvuori
(Published in HighTech Finland 2011)