Application of Photocatalytic Nanoballs in Paint as Self-Cleaning Surface of UCTS Exterior Walls

Project Title:   Application of Photocatalytic Nanoballs in Paint as Self-Cleaning Surface of UCTS Exterior Walls

Research ID:  4/2015/04

Principal Researcher: Peter Yek Nai Yuh

Co-Researchers:  Tiong Tung Chuan, Dr. Mohd Yusoff Taib

Project Start Date:  12/1/2015

Duration of Project:  24 months

Research Summary:  Self-cleaning building materials incorporating photocatalytic TiO2 have been developed and applied to cement, exterior tiles, mortar and paving blocks.  Photocatalytic TiO2 is able to reduce the concentration of noxious gases such as CO, NOx, and VOCs in air.  Besides that, surfaces treated with TiO2 photocatalysts are able to decompose organic material adhering onto it.  The treated surface becomes hydrophilic and let water runoff easily, reducing buildup of dirt.

UCTS exterior wall panels are made of aluminum and white in color.  Since its foundation, the walls have become dirty because of algae and dirt buildup.  Cleaning using water spraying and repainting using normal emulsion paint is a common solution, but cost is high since it needs to be done yearly.

To reduce maintenance cost while preserving building aesthetics for a long time, self-cleaning materials incorporating photocatalytic materials should be used as coating for the exterior walls of UCTS buildings.  The catalyst can be mixed in paint and the paint can be applied as a normal coating during its maintenance period.

Apart from preserving the aesthetic value of the buildings, the self-cleaning surface can reduce air pollution by decomposing harmful gases.