Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 3914–3926 | Cite as

Fabrication of superrepellent microstructured polypropylene/graphene surfaces with enhanced wear resistance

  • Anfu ChenEmail author
  • Sha Ding
  • Junhai Huang
  • Jingjing Zhang
  • Yong Dong
  • Xiaoling Fu
  • Binqing Shi
  • Bin Wang
  • Zhengrong ZhangEmail author


Fabrication of biomimetic laminated polypropylene/graphene powder (PP/GP) nanocomposites by template method to form the highly structured micropillars with submicron villi on top is presented in this work. Microstructures on PP surfaces are stretched and warped by the considerable force between the PP material and microcavities in the template during demolding, changing from micropillars to micropyramids. With the addition of 9% GP, the surface adhesive force is reduced from ~ 571 to ~ 215 μN on smooth surfaces and is almost as weak as ~ 4 μN on microstructured PP/GP surfaces, contributing to the successful demolding of microstructures from microcavities. The droplet of less than 10 μL would rather adhere to the syringe needle than the microstructured PP/GP surface. Apparently, the microstructured PP/GP surface with an extremely small roll-off angle of ~ 0.5° is slippery and superhydrophobic, exhibiting lotus effect. With the ability to work under a water pressure of up to 1500 Pa, the microstructured PP/GP surface exhibits a high-efficiency self-cleaning performance by a combination of droplet bouncing and rolling behaviors. The submicron villi forming on the top of PP/GP micropillars are caused by a mild stretch. This phenomenon might be attributed to a weak adhesion between PP/GP nanocomposites and the microcavities during demolding, facilitating the formation of the sufficiently robust Cassie–Baxter state. After a 1000 mm abrasion length, the newly formed tapering microfibers increase the roughness on the top of the micropillars and help the worn microstructured surface transform to the sticky superhydrophobicity, i.e., petal effect.



Financial support provided by Supported by Foundation for Distinguished Young Talents in Higher Education of Guangdong, China (contract Grant Number: 2016KQNCX043), Guangdong Province YangFan Innovative Entrepreneurial Research Team Project (contract Grant Number: 201312G02), and the Opening Project of Jiangxi Province Key Laboratory of Polymer Micro/Nano Manufacturing and Devices is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_3138_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM2_ESM.mpg (2.9 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (MPG 3002 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM3_ESM.mpg (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 3 (MPG 3365 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM4_ESM.mpg (3.6 mb)
Supplementary material 4 (MPG 3678 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM5_ESM.mpg (3.5 mb)
Supplementary material 5 (MPG 3542 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM6_ESM.mpg (8.2 mb)
Supplementary material 6 (MPG 8381 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM7_ESM.mpg (5 mb)
Supplementary material 7 (MPG 5086 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM8_ESM.mpg (10 mb)
Supplementary material 8 (MPG 10210 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM9_ESM.mpg (4.7 mb)
Supplementary material 9 (MPG 4784 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM10_ESM.mpg (6.3 mb)
Supplementary material 10 (MPG 6402 kb)
10853_2018_3138_MOESM11_ESM.mpg (12.5 mb)
Supplementary material 11 (MPG 12838 kb)


  1. 1.
    Cao MY, Guo DW, Yu CM, Li K, Liu MJ, Jiang L (2016) Water-repellent properties of superhydrophobic and lubricant-infused “slippery” surfaces: a brief study on the functions and applications. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8:3615–3623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Motlagh NV, Khani R, Rahnama S (2015) Super dewetting surfaces: focusing on their design and fabrication methods. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 484:528–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zhou BP, Gao YB, Mao YY, Wen WJ (2017) Facile preparation of superhydrophobic PDMS with patternable and controllable water adhesion characteristics. J Mater Sci 52(19):11428–11441. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Green JJ, Elisseeff JH (2016) Mimicking biological functionality with polymers for biomedical applications. Nature 540(7633):386–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Liu MJ, Wang ST, Jiang L (2017) Nature-inspired superwettability systems. Nat Rev Mater 2(7):17036. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang P, Lv FY (2015) A review of the recent advances in superhydrophobic surfaces and the emerging energy-related applications. Energy 82:1068–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Matziaris K, Panayiotou C (2014) Tunable wettability on Pendelic marble: could an inorganic marble surface behave as a “self-cleaning” biological surface? J Mater Sci 49(5):1931–1946. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ventre M, Netti PA (2016) Engineering cell instructive materials to control cell fate and functions through material cues and surface patterning. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8(24):14896–14908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Latthe SS, Sudhagar P, Devadoss A, Kumar AM, Liu SH, Terashima C, Nakata K, Fujishima AA (2015) Mechanically bendable superhydrophobic steel surface with self-cleaning and corrosion-resistant properties. J Mater Chem A 3(27):14263–14271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zhu L, Shi P, Xue J, Wang YY, Chen QM, Ding JF, Wang QJ (2014) Superhydrophobic stability of nanotube array surfaces under impact and static forces. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 6(11):8073–8079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zhu W, Liu HT, Yan W, Chen TC (2017) The fabrication of superhydrophobic PTFE/UHMWPE composite surface by hot-pressing and texturing process. Colloids Polym Sci 295(5):759–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Korpela T, Suvanto M, Pakkanen TT (2015) Wear and friction behavior of polyacetal surfaces with micro-structure controlled surface pressure. Wear 328:262–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kim M, Lee SM, Lee SJ, Kim YW, Liang L, Lee DW (2017) Effect on friction reduction of micro/nano hierarchical patterns on sapphire wafers. Int J Precis Eng Manuf Green Technol 4(1):27–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Contraires E, Teisseire J, Sondergard E, Barthel E (2016) Wetting against the nap-how asperity inclination determines unidirectional spreading. Soft Matter 12(28):6067–6072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tricinci O, Terencio T, Mazzolai B, Pugno NM, Greco F, Mattoli V (2015) 3D micropatterned surface inspired by Salvinia molesta via direct laser lithography. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7(46):25560–25567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hoppe C, Mitschker F, Awakowicz P, Kirchheim D, Dahlmann R, de los Arcos T, Grundmeier G (2018) Adhesion of plasma-deposited silicon oxide barrier layers on PDMS containing polypropylene. Surf Coat Tech 335:25–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhang XG, Liu ZJ, Zhang XY, Li Y, Wang HY, Wang JT, Zhu YJ (2018) High-adhesive superhydrophobic litchi-like coatings fabricated by in situ growth of nano-silica on polyethersulfone surface. Chem Eng J 343:699–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bormashenko E, Grynyov R, Chaniel G, Taitelbaum H, Bormashenko Y (2013) Robust technique allowing manufacturing superoleophobic surfaces. Appl Surf Sci 270:98–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chen AF, Huang HX (2016) Rapid fabrication of t-shaped micropillars on polypropylene surfaces with robust Cassie–Baxter state for quantitative droplet collection. J Phys Chem C 120(3):1556–1561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chen AF, Huang HX (2016) Rapid transfer of hierarchical microstructures onto biomimetic polymer surfaces with gradually tunable water adhesion from slippery to sticky superhydrophobicity. Mater Res Express 3(2):025011. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Toosi SF, Moradi S, Ebrahimi M, Hatzikiriakos SG (2016) Microfabrication of polymeric surfaces with extreme wettability using hot embossing. Appl Surf Sci 378:426–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Moore S, Gomez J, Lek D, You BH, Kim N, Song IH (2016) Experimental study of polymer microlens fabrication using partial-filling hot embossing technique. Microelectron Eng 162:57–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zhao LY, Zhao J, Liu YY, Guo YF, Zhang LP, Chen Z, Zhang H, Zhang Z (2016) Continuously tunable wettability by using surface patterned shape memory polymers with giant deformability. Small 12(24):3327–3333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Schauer S, Meier T, Reinhard M, Rohrig M, Schneider M, Heilig M, Kolew A, Worgull M, Holscher H (2016) Tunable diffractive optical elements based on shape-memory polymers fabricated via hot embossing. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8(14):9423–9430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Saarikoski I, Joki-Korpela F, Suvanto M, Pakkanen TT, Pakkanen TA (2012) Superhydrophobic elastomer surfaces with nanostructured micronails. Surf Sci 606(1–2):91–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Xu QF, Mondal F, Lyons AM (2011) Fabricating superhydrophobic polymer surfaces with excellent abrasion resistance by a simple lamination templating method. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 3(9):3508–3514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lu Z, Zhang KF (2009) Morphology and mechanical properties of polypropylene micro-arrays by micro-injection molding. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 40(5–6):490–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kavalenka MN, Vuellers F, Kumberg J et al (2017) Adaptable bioinspired special wetting surface for multifunctional oil/water separation. Sci Rep 7:39970. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Stormonth-Darling JM, Gadegaard N (2012) Injection moulding difficult nanopatterns with hybrid polymer inlays. Macromol Mater Eng 297(11):1075–1080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Stormonth-Darling JM, Pedersen RH, How C, Gadegaard N (2014) Injection moulding of ultra high aspect ratio nanostructures using coated polymer tooling. J Micromech Microeng 24(7):075019. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Matschuk M, Larsen NB (2013) Injection molding of high aspect ratio sub-100 nm nanostructures. J Micromech Microeng 23(2):025003. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Li ZY, Yang WJ, Wu YP, Wu SB, Cai ZB (2017) Role of humidity in reducing the friction of graphene layers on textured surfaces. Appl Surf Sci 403:362–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Chih A, Anson-Casaos A, Puertolas JA (2017) Frictional and mechanical behaviour of graphene/UHMWPE composite coatings. Tribol Int 116:295–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Tripathi SN, Rao GSS, Mathur AB, Jasra R (2017) Polyolefin/graphene nanocomposites: a review. RSC Adv 7(38):23615–23632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Quiles-Diaz S, Enrique-Jimenez P, Papageorgiou DG, Ania F, Flores A, Kinloch IA, Gomez-Fatou MA, Young RJ, Salavagione HJ (2017) Influence of the chemical functionalization of graphene on the properties of polypropylene-based nanocomposites. Compos Part A Appl S 100:31–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lv LL, Huang L, Zhu PL, Li G, Zhao T, Long JP, Sun R, Wong CP (2017) SiO2 particle-supported ultrathin graphene hybrids/polyvinylidene fluoride composites with excellent dielectric performance and energy storage density. J Mater Sci Mater Electron 28(18):13521–13531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Liu L, Yan F, Gai FY, Xiao LH, Shang L, Li M, Ao YH (2017) Enhanced tribological performance of PEEK/SCF/PTFE hybrid composites by graphene. RSC Adv 7(53):33450–33458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kelnar I, Kratochvil J, Kapralkova L, Zhigunov A, Nevoralova M (2017) Graphite nanoplatelets-modified PLA/PCL: effect of blend ratio and nanofiller localization on structure and properties. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater 71:271–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    He SH, Zhang JJ, Xiao XT, Hong XM, Lai YJ (2017) Investigation of the conductive network formation of polypropylene/graphene nanoplatelets composites for different platelet sizes. J Mater Sci 52(22):13103–13119. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Bafana AP, Yan XR, Wei X, Patel M, Guo ZH, Wei SY, Wujcik EK (2017) Polypropylene nanocomposites reinforced with low weight percent graphene nanoplatelets. Compos Part B Eng 109:101–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ahmad SR, Xue CZ, Young RJ (2017) The mechanisms of reinforcement of polypropylene by graphene nanoplatelets. Mater Sci Eng B 216:2–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Li R, Chen CB, Li J, Xu LM, Xiao GY, Yan DY (2014) A facile approach to superhydrophobic and superoleophilic graphene/polymer aerogels. J Mater Chem A 2(9):3057–3064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Nine MJ, Cole MA, Johnson L, Tran DNH, Losic D (2015) Robust superhydrophobic graphene-based composite coatings with self-cleaning and corrosion barrier properties. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7(51):28482–28493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Bong J, Seo K, Park JH, Ahn JR, Ju S (2014) Wettability of graphene-laminated micropillar structures. J Appl Phys 116(23):234303. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Goyal RK, Yadav M (2014) The wear and friction behavior of novel polytetrafluoroethylene/expanded graphite nanocomposites for tribology application. J Tribol Trans ASME 136(2):021601. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Zeng XZ, Peng YT, Lang HJ (2017) A novel approach to decrease friction of graphene. Carbon 118:233–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Wu P, Li XM, Zhang CH, Chen XC, Lin SY, Sun HY, Lin CT, Zhu HW, Luo JB (2017) Self-assembled graphene film as low friction solid lubricant in macroscale contact. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 9(25):21554–21562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Smolyanitsky A, Killgore JP, Tewary VK (2012) Effect of elastic deformation on frictional properties of few-layer graphene. Phys Rev B 85(3):35412. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Wang N, Xiong DS, Deng YL, Shi Y, Wang K (2015) Mechanically robust superhydrophobic steel surface with anti-icing, UV-durability, and corrosion resistance properties. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7(11):6260–6272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Yildirim A, Khudiyev T, Daglar B, Budunoglu H, Okyay AK, Bayindir M (2013) Superhydrophobic and omnidirectional antireflective surfaces from nanostructured ormosil colloids. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 5(3):853–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Yin LT, Yang J, Tang YC, Chen L, Liu C, Tang H, Li CS (2014) Mechanical durability of superhydrophobic and oleophobic copper meshes. Appl Surf Sci 316:259–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Inuwa IM, Hassan A, Wang DY, Samsudin SA, Haafiz MKM, Wong SL, Jawaid M (2014) Influence of exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets on the flammability and thermal properties of polyethylene terephthalate/polypropylene nanocomposites. Polym Degrad Stabil 110:137–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Liu W, Fukushima H, Drzal LT (2010) Influence of processing on morphology, electrical conductivity and flexural properties of exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets-polyamide nanocomposites. Carbon Lett 11(4):279–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Brown PS, Bhushan B (2016) Durable superoleophobic polypropylene surfaces. Philos Trans R Soc A Math Phys Eng Sci 374:2073. Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Long JY, Fan PX, Gong DW, Jiang DF, Zhang HJ, Li L, Zhong ML (2015) Superhydrophobic surfaces fabricated by femtosecond laser with tunable water adhesion: from lotus leaf to rose petal. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7(18):9858–9865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Lafuma A, Quéré D (2003) Superhydrophobic states. Nat Mater 2(7):457–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Bhushan B, Jung YC, Koch K (2009) Self-cleaning efficiency of artificial superhydrophobic surfaces. Langmuir 25(5):3240–3248CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials and EnergyGuangdong University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangxi Province Key Laboratory of Polymer Micro/Nano Manufacturing and DevicesEast China University of TechnologyNanchangPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations