Properties of Super-Hydrophobic Copper and Stainless Steel Meshes: Applications in Controllable Water Permeation and Organic Solvents/Water Separation

Yu Chen Sang, Ahmad B. Albadarin, Ala'a H. Al-Muhtaseb, Chirangano Mangwandi, John N. McCracken, Steven E. J. Bell, Gavin M. Walker

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The wettability and hydrophobicity of super-hydrophobic (SH) meshes is greatly influenced by their topographic structures, chemical composition and coating process. In this study, the properties of copper and stainless steel meshes, coated with super-hydrophobic electrolessly deposited silver were investigated. A new method to test the pressure resistance of super-hydrophobic mesh was applied to avoid any deformation of mesh. Results showed that SH copper mesh and SH stainless steel meshes with the same pore size have almost the same contact angle and the same hydrophobicity. SH copper mesh with a pore size of 122 μm can resist water pressure of 4900 Pa and a decrease of pore size of mesh can increase the pressure resistance of SH copper mesh. The SH copper mesh modified with 0.1 M HS(CH2)10COOH solution in ethanol has a controllable water permeation property by simply adjusting the pH of water solution. SH copper mesh shows super-oleophilicity with organic solvents and so with a water contact angle of 0° and it can be an effective tool for organic solvents/water separation. The separation efficiency of SH copper mesh for separating mixtures of organic solvent and water can be as high as 99.8%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
JournalApplied Surface Science
Early online date12 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015



  • super-hydrophobic copper mesh
  • Contact angle
  • pressure resistance
  • organic solvent/ water separation
  • pH controllable water permeation
  • Morphology

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