Self-Cleaning Stainless Steel Finishes

For Applications Requiring the Maintenance of Clean Surfaces

Perhaps the best performance feature of textured metal comes from the use of hydrophobic stainless steel surfaces that resist the accumulation of dirt, maximizing solar reflectance and minimizing the need to clean the roof or façade. Accumulated surface soil absorbs more solar radiation than it reflects. It is therefore important to keep the stainless steel clean in order to maintain maximum solar reflection. The use of a hydrophobic surface will delay, if not eliminate the need to clean the building’s surface.

While applications other than building envelopes do not necessarily require efficient solar energy reflection, there are numerous opportunities for increased efficiency from the use of hydrophobic stainless steel surfaces. Uses in food and chemical processing, heat exchangers, restaurant equipment; simply any case wherein it is desirable to have a surface stay cleaner longer and be more readily cleaned when the time comes to do so, can benefit from a hydrophobic texture.

A hydrophobic surface, as defined by the angle of incidence of droplets, repels water and has low surface tension, which tends not to attract contaminants and rinses cleanly. A permanent hydrophobic surface is achieved in stainless steel by micro-texturing the surface of a mill-finished coil with a surface pattern that has features smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Rigidized® Metals Corporation produces several such hydrophobic stainless steel finishes, ranging from dull to bright.

Learn more here.

To read a peer reviewed paper on the topic, as presented at The University of Southern California Façade Tectonics 2018, click here.

Stainless steel is well understood as a durable material that looks good and has hygienic properties. However, it is more than that. It is apparent from our research that it is possible to create self-cleaning surfaces that do not degrade over time. Please contact a Rigidized® Metals Corporation representative to learn more about how we can tailor a solution that minimizes maintenance for your application.