Daikin America: Optool

Daikin’s Optool product line is a technology designed to create surfaces with resistance to fingerprint deposition as well as smudges, general fouling, and stains. Moreover, Optool acts as an easy clean coating facilitating fingerprint, smudge, and stain removal on a wide variety of glass, plastic, and metal surfaces. It creates a very low surface energy finish on properly coated substrates leading to extremely hydrophobic and oleophobic surfaces. Along with imbuing a surface with non-stick and easy clean properties, Optool also improves the (haptic) sensation of a treated surface.

Anti-Fingerprint (surface fingerprint mitigation) and Easy-Clean Surface with Optool Coating
Mitigation Easy Clean

Bare glass

Bare glass –
6 wipe cycles

Bare glass –
8 wipe cycles

Optool

Optool –
6 wipe cycles

Optool –
8 wipe cycles

As a modified PFPE (perfluoropolyether) nanocoating, Optool applied to a surface is transparent and yet produces smudge resistance, easy-to-clean, and anti-fingerprint properties. In addition, Optool coated surfaces have a smooth or slippery feeling to them. From a fundamental standpoint, all of this is due to the hydrophobic and oleophobic (what some call “omniphobic”) nature of surfaces coated with Optool. Finally, while designed primarily to generate oleophobic non-stick, easy-clean, stain and smudge resistant surface characteristics, Optool coatings are also abrasion resistant and UV durable thanks to the intelligent design of their polymer structures.

The Optool Experience

Perfluoropolyether (PFPE)

PVD, Spray, Dip and Wipe Application Methods

Stabilized on the surface by covalent bonds

Optool Surface Treatment Properties:

Repellency and Omniphobicity

Fingerprint resistant surface (anti-fingerprint)

Anti-smudge surface

Hydrophobic and water repellent (high water contact angle surface)

Oleophobic and oil repellent (high oil contact angle surface)

Easy to Clean

Fingerprints

Smudges

Dirt

Transparency

Transparent across the visible spectrum

Will not cause color shifting from reflected light

Will not cause discoloration of objects viewed through Optool coated glass

Smooth Texture

Low coefficient of friction surface

Consumer-desired haptics

Long Lasting

Mechanically durable

Abrasion resistant surface finish

UV-durable surface finish

The Optool Portfolio
OPTOOL is a Daikin brand and product line that is derived from PFPE’s (perfluoropolyether) containing different functional groups that allow for covalent bonding of the fluoropolymer directly to a surface. Alternatively, Daikin also makes one grade, Optool DAC-HP, that can bond within a functional coating matrix when used as a coating additive.

Optool DSX
Ideal for glass &
silica-rich substrates
Optool DAC-HP
Additive for
Acrylic Hardcoats
Optool UD509
Ideal for additional
surface slip properties &
abrasion resistance
Optool UD120
Ideal for enhanced
weather resistance and
UV-durability
Optool Market Applications
Automotive:

Automotive Display Coating

Lidar Coating

Windshield Coating

Consumer:

Ophthalmic Coating

Consumer Electronics Coating

Metallic Appliance Coating

Home Décor (Faucet surface coating and glass surface coating)

Glassware Coating

Architectural:

Architectural Metallic Surface Coating

Architectural Glass Coating

Industrial and High-Tech:

Precision Optics Coating

Glassware Coating

Optool FAQs

What is the difference between a hydrophobic coating and an oleophobic coating?

Hydrophobic coating materials repel water, and water won’t readily or completely wet a hydrophobic surface. Oleophobic coating materials repel oils.

Very often a hydrophobic surface will actually attract oil, while an oleophobic surface will attract water. This being said, there is value to generating a surface that is both hydrophobic and oleophobic (water repellent and oil repellent). Surfaces that are capable of repelling both oil and water are called omniphobic and can be generated with omniphobic coating mateirals like Optool. This omniphobic property of Optool contributes to the generation of easy-clean or anti-fingerprint surfaces.

What is the definition of a “keep-clean” surface?

A surface that is described as “keep-clean” has usually been treated with a few very specific brands of Daikin material. Optool PFPE nanocoatings are one such brand that generates a keep-clean surface. This means that the surface is extremely difficult to soil or smudge and thus it “keeps clean”. Think of this like the first line of defense against a dirty surface.

What is the definition of an “easy-to-clean” surface?

An “easy-to-clean” surface is one that has also usually been treated with a few very specific brands of Daikin material. Optool PFPE coatings inherently generate an easy-to-clean surface. This means that a surface will allow for easy removal of contaminants that do happen to be deposited onto a surface. Think of this as an embedded second line of defense against a dirty surface.

Is there any surface coating that is 100% anti-fingerprint or fingerprint repellent?

Anti-fingerprint is essentially a jargon term used in certain industries. It refers to a surface, like those of ophthalmic lenses, to which it is rather difficult to deposit fingerprints (similar to the idea of keep-clean surface technology). Surfaces with Optool keep-clean technology, however, are more than just “anti-fingerprint” and actually make a surface more repellent to all oil-based dirt (and don’t forget, they are easy-to-clean too, and thus are more simple to remove smudges from as well!).

As of this writing, there is no durable nanocoating that is 100% effective in repelling all fingerprints. The combination of surface properties – mechanical durabilty, outdoor durability, high water contact angle, and high oil contact angle – derived from Optool easy-to-clean and keep-clean coating technology is extraordinarily effective, but Daikin’s top scientists are still working on maximizing all of those characteristics in a truly 100% fingeprint repellent surface.

What does one mean by the term “omniphobic”?

Strictly speaking, omniphobic means that something “fears” or repels all. In practice, omniphobic coatings are simultaneously hydrophic and oleophobic. Some industries, however, have phobicities that are particular to them. For example, the consumer electronics industry values fingerprint resistant coatings which allow for fingerprint repellency and fingerprint deposition resistance while the medical textile industry uses the term “hemophobic”, or blood-repellent, to describe the ability of the personal protective equipment (PPE) to resist blood from penetrating its surface.

What industries use Optool coatings today?

Optool is used as a hydrophobic coating, superhydrophobic coating, oleophobic coating, or omniphobic coating in a variety of industries. The phobic nature of an Optool coating is what generates the easy-to-clean and keep-clean functionalities that have become important to the following applications:

  • Consumer electronics touch screens
  • Home decor that is high-touch, like faucets
  • Ophthalmic lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coatings on them
  • High end automotive glass surface coatings (Lidar, displays, and windshields)
  • Appliances with metallic surfaces
  • Many other niche applications

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