Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 14, pp 10554–10568 | Cite as

Polymer-infiltrated approach to produce robust and easy repairable superhydrophobic mesh for high-efficiency oil/water separation

  • Xinjuan Zeng
  • Shouping Xu
  • Pihui Pi
  • Jiang Cheng
  • Li WangEmail author
  • Shuangfeng Wang
  • Xiufang WenEmail author


A superhydrophobic and superoleophilic polymer-infiltrated nanoparticle film-coated stainless-steel mesh (PINF-SSM) was prepared with a novel and facile nature-inspired approach. The approach involves the use of low-cost raw materials and simple spray coating of hydrophobic silica nanoparticles onto stainless-steel mesh (SSM) surface. With acrylic resin pre-coating layer on both surfaces, it is conveniently transformed into an integrated polymer-infiltrated nanoparticle film on SSM after annealing above the resin’s glass transition temperature. The obtained PINF-SSM shows robust superhydrophobicity after multiple cycles rubbing with sandpaper, long-term UV irradiation, long-term storage, and exposure to strong acidic, alkaline, and saline solutions. The as-prepared PINF-SSM was successfully used to separate various oil/water mixtures with high-efficiency for at least 50 cycles and collect oil slick on water surface efficiently. Sequential coating thermoplastic acrylic resin and hydrophobic silica nanoparticles on the surface of SSM allow for extended storage time of the coating materials, easy resin processing with high silica content, quick repairing, and easy recovery of the superhydrophobic surface, making it suitable in various oil/water separation practices.



We are grateful for the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21176091, 21376093 and 51476059).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_2314_MOESM1_ESM.docx (34.4 mb)
Supplementary SEM images, EDS spectra, photographs of water splashing and water jet on the PINF-SSM surface and PINF-SSM piece immersed in water; photographs of water intrusion pressure measurement and oil collecting basket. (DOCX 35239 kb)

Movie S1, Water jet test on the PINF-SSM surface (mpg) (MPG 1384 kb)

Movie S2, Oil/water separation test (mpg) (MPG 9005 kb)

10853_2018_2314_MOESM4_ESM.mpg (9.6 mb)
Movie S3, Water intrusion pressure measurement (mpg) (MPG 9783 kb)

Movie S4, Continuous oil collecting process (mpg) (MPG 8354 kb)

Movie S5, Water jet test on oil collector surface before repair (mpg) (MPG 10462 kb)

Movie S6, Water jet test on oil collector surface after repair (mpg) (MPG 5424 kb)


  1. 1.
    Schnoor JL (2010) The gulf oil spill. Environ Sci Technol 44:4833–4833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kintisch E (2010) An audacious decision in crisis gets cautious praise. Science 329:735–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kingston PF (2002) Long-term environmental impact of oil spills. Spill Sci Technol B 7:53–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nordvik AB, Simmons JL, Bitting KR, Lewis A, Kristiansen TS (1996) Oil and water separation in marine oil spill clean-up operations. Spill Sci Technol B 3:107–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pacheco VF, Spinelli L, Lucas EF, Mansur CRE (2011) Destabilization of petroleum emulsions: evaluation of the influence of the solvent on additives. Energy Fuel 4:1659–1666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Annunciado TR, Sydenstricker THD, Amico SC (2005) Experimental investigation of various vegetable fibers as sorbent materials for oil spills. Mar Pollut Bull 50:1340–1346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Boopathy R, Shields S, Nunna S (2012) Biodegradation of crude oil from the BP oil spill in the marsh sediments of southeast Louisiana. Appl Biochem Biotech 167:1560–1568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alvares D, Lucas FE (2000) Chemical structure effect of (meth) acrylic ester copolymers and modified poly (etliylene-co-vinyl acetate) copolymer on paraffin deposition prevention in crude oil. Pet Sci Technol 18:195–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ferreira BMS, Ramalho JBVS, Lucas EF (2013) Demulsification of water-in-crude oil emulsions by microwave radiation: effect of aging, demulsifier addition, and selective Heating. Energ Fuele 27:615–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wang Q, Yu MG, Chen GX, Chen QF, Tian JF (2017) Robust fabrication of fluorine-free superhydrophobic steel mesh for efficient oil/water separation. J Mater Sci 52:2549–2559. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Xue JL, Cui QQ, Bai Y, Wu YA, Gao Y, Li L, Qiao NH (2016) Optimization of adsorption conditions for the removal of petroleum compounds from marine environment using modified activated carbon fiber by response surface methodology. Environ Prog Sustain 35:1400–1406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Feng L, Zhang ZY, Mai ZH, Ma YM, Liu BQ, Jiang L, Zhu DB (2004) A Super-hydrophobic and super-oleophilic coating mesh film for the separation of oil and water. Angew Chem Int Edit 43:2012–2014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Qu MNJ, Yuan M, Liu SS, He J, Xue MH, Liu XR (2018) A versatile and efficient method to fabricate recyclable superhydrophobic composites based on brucite and organosilane. J Mater Sci 53:396–408. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zeng XJ, Qian L, Yuan XX, Zhou CL, Li ZW, Cheng J, Xu SP, Wang SF, Pi PH, Wen XF (2017) Inspired by stenocara beetles: from water collection to high-efficiency water-in-oil emulsion separation. ACS Nano 11:760–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhou CL, Chen ZD, Yang H, Hou K, Zeng XJ, Zheng YF, Cheng J (2017) Nature-inspired strategy toward superhydrophobic fabrics for versatile oil/water separation. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 9:9184–9194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zeng XJ, Wang L, Pi PH, Cheng J, Wen XF, Qian Y (2018) Development and research of special wettability materials for oil/water separation. Prog Chem 30:73–86Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tang Z, Zhang Z, Han Z, Shen S, Li J, Yang J (2016) One-step synthesis of hydrophobic-reduced graphene oxide and its oil/water separation performance. J Mater Sci 51:1–8. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chiou NR, Lui CM, Guan JJ, Lee LJ, Epstein AJ (2007) Growth and alignment of polyaniline nanofibres with superhydrophobic, superhydrophilic and other properties. Nat Nanotechnol 2:354–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yang X, He Y, Zeng GY, Zhan YQ, Pan Y, Shi H, Chen Q (2016) Novel hydrophilic pvdf ultrafiltration membranes based on a ZrO2-multiwalled carbon nanotube hybrid for oil/water separation. J Mater Sci 51:8965–8976. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Baek S, Kim W, Jeon S, Yong K (2017) Dual dimensional nanostructures with highly durable non-wetting properties under dynamic and underwater conditions. Nanoscale 9:6665–6673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Deng X, Mammen L, Butt HJ, Vollmer D (2012) Candle soot as a template for a transparent robust superamphiphobic coating. Science 335:67–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Song JL, Huang S, Lu Y, Bu XW, Mates JE, Ghosh A, Ganguly R, Carmalt CJ, Parkin IP, Xu WJ, Megaridis CM (2014) Self-driven one-step oil removal from oil spill on water via selective-wettability steel mesh. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 6:19858–19865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Schutzius TM, Jung S, Maitra T, Graeber G, Kohme M, Poulikakos D (2015) Spontaneous droplet trampolining on rigid superhydrophobic surfaces. Nature 527:82–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Li JJ, Zhu LT, Luo ZH (2016) Electrospun fibrous membrane with enhanced swithchable oil/water wettability for oily water separation. Chem Eng J 287:474–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hardman SJ, Muhamad-Sarih N, Riggs HJ, Thompson RL, Rigby J, Bergius WNA, Hutchings LR (2011) Electrospinning superhydrophobic fibers using surface segregating end-functionalized polymer additives. Macromolecules 44:6461–6470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wu D, Wang JN, Wu SZ, Chen QD, Zhao SA, Zhang H, Sun HB, Jiang L (2011) Three-level biomimetic rice-leaf surfaces with controllable anisotropic sliding. Adv Funct Mater 21:2927–2932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Raturi P, Yadav K, Singh JP (2017) ZnO-nanowires-coated smart surface mesh with reversible wettability for efficient on-demand oil/water separation. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 9:6007–6013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Xiao CM, Si LX, Liu YM, Guan GQ, Wu DH, Wang ZD, Hao XG (2016) Ultrastable coaxial cable-like superhydrophobic mesh with self-adaption effect: facile synthesis and oil/water separation application. J Mater Chem A 4:8080–8090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chen PY, Tung SH (2017) One-step electrospinning to produce nonsolvent-induced macroporous fibers with ultrahigh oil adsorption capability. Macromolecules 50:2528–2534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Zhi DF, Lu Y, Sathasivam S, Parkin IP, Zhang X (2017) Large-scale fabrication of translucent and repairable superhydrophobic spray coatings with remarkable mechanical, chemical durability and UV resistance. J Mater Chem A 5:10622–10631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hwang G, Patir A, Page K, Lu Y, Allan E, Parkin IP (2017) Buoyancy increase and drag-reduction through a simple superhydrophobic coating. Nanoscale 9:7588–7594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wu XH, Fu QT, Kumar D, Ho JWC, Kanhere P, Zhou HF, Chen Z (2016) Mechanically robust superhydrophobic and superoleophobic coatings derived by sol–gel method. Mater Des 89:1302–1309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Karapanagiotis I, Manoudis PN, Savva A, Panayiotou C (2014) Superhydrophobic polymer-particle composite films produced using various particle sizes. Surf Interface Anal 44:870–875CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ye H, Zhu LQ, Li WP, Liu HC, Chen HN (2017) Simple spray deposition of a water-based superhydrophobic coating with high stability for flexible applications. J Mater Chem A 5:9882–9890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Suyambulingam GT, Jeyasubramanian K, Mariappan VK, Veluswamy P, Ikeda H, Krishnamoorthy K (2017) Excellent floating and load bearing properties of superhydrophobic ZnO/copper stearate nanocoating. Chem Eng J 320:468–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Schutzius TM, Bayer IS, Jursich GM, Das A, Megaridis CM (2012) Superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic binary micropatterns by localized thermal treatment of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)-silica films. Nanoscale 4:5378–5385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Yang H, Pi PH, Yang ZR, Lu Z, Chen R (2016) Design of a superhydrophobic and superoleophilic film using cured fluoropolymer@silica hybrid. Appl Surf Sci 388:268–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Roach P, Shirtcliffe NJ, Newton MI (2008) Progess in superhydrophobic surface development. Soft Matter 4:224–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Verho T, Bower C, Andrew P, Franssila S, Ikkala O, Ras RHA (2011) Mechanically durable superhydrophobic surfaces. Adv Mater 23:673–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Yang J, Zhang ZZ, Men XH, Xu XH, Zhu XT (2010) A simple approach to fabricate regenerable superhydrophobic coatings. Colloid Surface A 367:60–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Neinhuis C, Koch K, Barthlott W (2001) Movement and regeneration of epicuticular waxes through plant cuticles. Planta 213:427–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Zhu XT, Zhang ZZ, Men XH, Yang J, Wang K, Xu XH, Zhou XY, Xue QJ (2011) Robust superhydrophobic surfaces with mechanical durability and easy repairability. J Mater Chem 21:15793–15797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Landi E, Valentini F, Tampieri A (2008) Porous hydroxyapatite/gelatine scaffolds with ice-designed channel-like porosity for biomedical applications. Acta Biomater 4:1620–1626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Martinez-Vazquez FJ, Perera FH, Miranda P, Pajares A, Guiberteau F (2010) Improving the compressive strength of bioceramic robocast scaffolds by polymer infiltration. Acta Biomater 6:4361–4368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Hor JL, Jiang YJ, Ring DJ, Riggleman RA, Turner KT, Lee D (2017) Nanoporous polymer-infiltrated nanoparticle films with uniform or graded porosity via undersaturated capillary rise infiltration. ACS Nano 11:3229–3236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Karunakaran RG, Lu CH, Zhang ZH, Yang S (2011) Highly transparent superhydrophobic surfaces from the coassembly of nanoparticles (<= 100 nm). Langmuir 27:4594–4602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Chen QY, de Leon A, Advincula RC (2015) Inorganic-organic thiol-ene coated mesh for oil/water separation. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7:18566–18573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Yeom C, Kim Y (2016) Purification of oily seawater/wastewater using superhydrophobic nano-Silica coated mesh and sponge. J Ind Eng Chem 40:47–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Brostow W, Lobland HHE (2017) Organic Raw Materials. Materials: introduction and applications. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 151–162Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Ramalho JBVS, Lechuga FC, Lucas EF (2010) Effect of the structure of commercial poly (ethylene oxide-b-propylene oxide) demulsifier bases on the demulsification of water-in-crude oil emulsions. Quim Nova 33:1664–1670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Gouri C, Nair CPR, Ramaswamy R (2001) Thermosetting film adhesives based on maleimide-modified-phenol-functional acrylic copolymers. J Adhes Sci Technol 15:703–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.South China Institute of Environmental SciencesThe Ministry of Environment Protection of PRCGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations