Henkel, DropWise jointly develop surface treatment solutions

Henkel, DropWise to jointly develop surface treatment solutions

8:39 AM, 9th September 2015
Henkel, DropWise to jointly develop surface treatment solutions
Droplet formation on the durable hydrophobic polymer surface.

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY: Henkel Adhesive Technologies said it has signed a joint development agreement with US-based start-up DropWise Technologies Corp, to expand its position in the global surface treatment business.

Founded in 2014, Cambridge-headquartered DropWise has developed technology, intellectual property and lab-scale manufacturing know how for a novel method of hydrophobic coating applications.

“Together with DropWise we can combine their unique technologies with our global market access and know-how in coatings to generate profitable growth for both partners in the future,” said Mike Olosky, corporate senior vice president and global head of innovation & new business development, Henkel Adhesive Technologies.

The global coatings market is rapidly changing with increasing demands for new technologies that offer additional functionalities and improved sustainability. DropWise’s innovation will enable a durable polymer surface with unique properties that offers improved heat transfer.

The DropWise application process is based on an initiated chemical vapour deposition (iCVD) technique which allows the coating to be applied for OEM or retrofit applications. Using a small amount of polymer precursors, a chemical reaction is carried out that covalently grafts an ultra-thin polymer film to any metal surface, such as stainless steel, titanium, copper, aluminum and even polymers and ceramics. 

One example use of DropWise’s hydrophobic coating is in condensing heat exchangers, where the technology increases the efficiency by eliminating the insulating film of liquid that typically builds up on the surface. Target applications include industrial heat exchangers such as steam condensers in power plants, heating-ventilation and automotive air-conditioning as well as chemical processes. Increasing the efficiency of these systems allows for reductions in fuel consumption, emissions and coolant water use, particularly for thermal power plants, which are the largest contributors to global emissions and second largest consumers of water.

“We are excited to be partnering with a global leader in metal surface treatment,” said Adam Paxson, CEO of DropWise.

DropWise is commercializing the technology out of two laboratories at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which has a strong track record of bringing material science-based innovation to the market. Henkel Adhesive Technologies is closely working with MIT to directly interact with start-ups and entrepreneurs.

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