Self-Cleaning Glass explained
Effi Wolff, Managing Director, Balcony Systems explains how the technology behind self-cleaning glass works
The concept of glass that cleans itself sounds like a pipe dream but the reality is that it is now an affordable, state of the art addition to the domestic home.
Our solution for achieving a “self-cleaning” glass surface is our unique BalcoNano® coating. The glass applied with a hydrophobic coating, Hydrophobic means the glass will repel water and any water that comes in contact with the glass will tend to have a minimum amount of contact with the glass and will create spherical droplets on the surface. This is also known as having the "lotus effect" which refers to the very high water repellence exhibited by the leaves of the lotus flower.
Dirt particles can be picked up by water droplets due to a complex micro- and nanoscopic architecture of the surface, which enables minimization of adhesion. This form of glass works in a similar way to "Teflon" on a frying pan. It produces a non-stick surface and water will run off of this surface quickly and not streak.
The appearance of glass to the naked eye is smooth and even, however a microscopic examination would reveal peaks and valleys cable of attracting dirt and grime. When applied to glass the silica based hydrophobic coating creates a Nano scale that achieves a microscopically even and smooth surface, which greatly reduces the ability of dirt particles to adhere to the surface.
The advantages are that it works on organic and inorganic dirt alike. This coating makes the glass surface much more scratch resistant and will reduce the need for use of chemicals should cleaning be required as dirt will easily wash off. This type of glass coating protects the glass from graffiti and paint. It can be reapplied on site if required.
This application, when applied properly, has a life span of 3 to 10 years in external conditions. Cost wise BalcoNano® ® certainly makes self-cleaning glass in every households reach. Over time it pays for itself in cleaning cycle reduction and savings on chemicals, so really it’s a no brainer.