Crossville Inc

Hydrotect

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Hydrotect

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Cleaner, Greener, Smarter Surfaces

Imagine a tile that can defend its environment against hostile microbes, practically clean itself and purify the atmosphere like a living, growing plant. This is Hydrotect™ by Crossville, a revolutionary invisible coating that harnesses the power of light, water and oxygen to create the best offense and defense against dirt, pollution and bacteria on any ceramic surface, walls or floors, indoors or outdoors.

Cleaner – Resists and reduces adhesion of dust particles, oil and dirt

Greener – Removes greenhouse gasses and other pollutants from outdoor air

Smarter – Reduces the growth of indoor bacteria and other harmful organisms*

Hydrotect – Recommended Colors and Finishes

How it Works

Crossville’s proprietary process uses a hybrid photocatalyst coating containing nontoxic titanium dioxide. Applied in a secondary high-temperature firing process, it stays on the surface and doesn’t wash or wear off.

Self-Cleaning
Tiles coated with Hydrotect attract water, rather than allowing it to bead and sit on the surface. In exterior applications, attracted rainwater forms a barrier beneath dirt and grime, naturally washing it away. Everyday exterior humidity also causes a fine film of water to build on the tile, preventing the adhesion of dust and oily dirt. Even algae is no match for Hydrotect. The photocatalytic process degrades it naturally, without the use or production of toxic chemicals. Altogether, Hydrotect-coated exteriors require less, and less costly, maintenance that’s easier on the environment too.

Air Purifying
When exterior walls coated with Hydrotect are exposed to light, the photocatalytic process breaks down harmful nitrogen oxides—greenhouse gases produced by exhaust fumes, smoke, VOCs and other environmental pollutants—into harmless nitrates. In fact, a 10,000-square-foot area of tiles can clean the air as effectively as 70 deciduous trees or green space the size of four tennis courts.

Anti-microbial*
Indoors and out, Hydrotect’s anti-microbial coating minimize the bacteria that cause odors and stains. In third-party testing conducted by Germany’s Dresden University, Hydrotect reduced Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus  by 99% or more. These antimicrobial, anti-mold and anti-mildew capabilities help keep the air and the environment cleaner and healthier without harsh chemicals.

*This product is currently under review by the EPA. Information is based on third party testing per ISO standards. Photocatalyst products are not designed to protect users from disease-causing bacteria or to replace good cleaning/maintenance practices.

Demonstration Videos

Crossville with Hydrotect Coating – Self Cleaning Demo

Crossville with Hydrotect Coating – Oil Removal Demo


Crossville with Hydrotect Coating – Glass Coating Demo

Hydrotect – Methylene Blue Decomposition demo


Hydrotect – NOx Reduction Demo

Hydrotect – Water Contact Angle Demo


Crossville with Hydrotect Coating Demo

Downloads

Hydrotect Brochure

Hydrotect – Healthier Surfaces Mean Better Service

Hydrotect – Do Your School’s Surfaces Make the Grade

Hydrotect – Creating a Hygienic Environment

Hydrotect – Are You Serving Up Unhealthy Surfaces

 

*This product is currently under review by the EPA. Information is based on third party testing per ISO standards. Photocatalyst products are not designed to protect users from disease-causing bacteria or to replace good cleaning/maintenance practices.

FAQ

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What is the simple explanation of HYDROTECT technology?
Hydrotect is patented technology for fusing photocatalytic titanium dioxide and anti-microbial metals to the surface of a material, in this case a tile. In the presence of moisture (humidity in the air) and natural or artificial light (in the UV spectrum) it produces a non-consuming (does not deplete the titanium dioxide when it reacts) reaction that creates three beneficial properties:

  • Self Cleaning attributes ( “self-cleaning” outside vertically in the presence of UV light)
  • Air Cleaning (odors and NOx studies have been done)
  • Anti-microbial*
  • The self Cleaning attributes is due to the properties of hydrophilicity (water attraction), reduced adhesion properties, and the decomposition properties (things are easily removed from surface due to these properties and the ability of water to get behind the contaminants).
  • NOx is generic term for the oxides of Nitrogen (NO & NO2)
  • Primary sources of NOx are vehicles, manufacturing and utilities
  • NOx is key ingredient in the production of smog (ground level ozone)
  • NOx reacts with VOC to produce smog
  • NOx is hazardous to human health and environment and are regulated by EPA
  • Anti-microbial* effects are produced using the anti-microbial* metals in the interior formula even when there is low light/UV or even in the dark.

What is the simple explanation of how the HYDROTECT coating makes the tile have anti-microbial* effects? As a follow up, if it can inhibit odor causing bacteria, does it have any harmful effects on human health
Hydrotect’s technology provides anti-microbial* abilities using anti-microbial metals without the need for UV exposure. There are no harmful effects from materials used in the Hydrotect technology.

Why is HYDROTECT different than other tile products on the market claiming anti-microbial effects? As a follow up, how does it compare to other photocatalytic tile products on the market?
Non-photocatalytic tile products claiming anti-microbial* ability are, to our knowledge, using silver to perform the function of anti-microbial* effect; silver does not provide any of the other photocatalytic attributes mentioned above (self-cleaning, air purifying, reduced adhesion). As far as the other photocatalytic tile products on the market, and the silver products as well, TOTO has seen through its testing that other methods of manufacturing (ones not utilizing Hydrotect’s technology for application) provide less of the reactive material at the surface of the product where it is needed to maximize the photocatalytic abilities and/or the anti-microbial benefits.

If titanium dioxide effects were to be compared, we can only suggest that independent testing be conducted by a customer to ascertain which one gets better results.
As stated above, our testing has shown that the way the material is applied by others does not produce the same reactive layer at the surface, and therefore the beneficial aspects, comparatively, are decreased in a pretty major way.

How long will the coating last?
Unless physically abraded off, the coating will last forever.

Should a building owner expect exterior maintenance advantages over non-coated alternatives?

For the exteriors, absolutely, the self cleaning aspects offer a clear benefit of reduced maintenance cost to the facade of the building.  Eliminating or reducing expensive cleaning processes and environmentally unfriendly cleaners is straight forward and easily quantifiable.  In addition, the ability of the self-cleaning attributes to keep the facade looking brand new and as designed is invaluable to the building owner.  This along with the added environmental benefit of air cleaning through NOx removal makes exterior Hydrotect a win win for the building and the environment.

Should a building owner expect interior maintenance advantages over non-coated alternative?

For the interior, the return on investment should be seen as creating a more hygienic, sanitary and healthier environment for the occupants of a given application.  While this ROI is difficult to quantify, the investment in the well-being of occupants and customers is clearly a worthwhile investment.

Are there any negative effects from HYDROTECT, off gassing of TiO2, unfriendly elements, etc.?
There are no negative effects, no off-gassing of TiO2 or unfriendly elements. The treated tiles remain inert.

Will our tile still be Green Squared certified with this coating?
It should not affect our green squared certification, all products produced in TN will be Green Squared certified, including these.

Any changes to color or DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction)?
In general the Hydrotect application results in only slight/negligible changes to the shade or finish. It becomes more apparent on high gloss, polished, or very dark colors. A detailed list relative to your question is available from your Crossville representative. There is no decrease in the DCOF of the product when treated with Hydrotect; the values for the untreated tile can be used for representation of the product.

 

Which of the two product codes (HT or HTX) is appropriate for a given application?
This is where the hybrid photocatalyst comes in.

For interiors the anti-microbial* metals, carried on a titanium dioxide structure,  deliver the anti-microbial* effect in interior installations where low-light and no light conditions are prevalent.

For exteriors the formula is pure titanium dioxide and it will deliver the photocatalytic benefits of self-cleaning and air cleaning. For these- reasons we have an interior (HT) and an exterior offering (HTX), simply with and without anti-microbial* metals.

What is the plan for Crossville warranty with this product addition?
The tile would carry the normal warranty, available on our website, that all of our other products do.

Is direct sunlight required for HYDROTECT to work?

  • For exterior, in most cases reflected sunlight from the ground, other buildings, roads, etc. is sufficient for Hydrotect to work effectively.
  • For the exteriors in urban areas, there is enough UV energy on building walls if the distance from the next building wall is greater than 1 m (3 feet).
  • On interiors the anti-microbial*attribute is not light dependent and is there even in the dark.

 

What levels of light are required?
No light is required for the interior Hydrotect tiles to provide anti-microbial* functions.

For exteriors normal exposure to the sun is sufficient to bring about the full effects of Hydrotect.

What is the actual chemical reaction?
Several white papers have been written in Japan and in the US. These would serve as the best detail for the reaction.

Reaction is dynamic as no end state is achieved.
Web links – http://www.toto.co.jp/docs/hyd_patent_en/ or
http://www.totousa.com/WhyTOTO/Innovation/Hydrotect.aspx

What are the molecular details in the hydrophilic reaction?
When TiO2 is energized, it reacts with water in the air to produce Hydrophilic (water loving) — OH group.
Stains lifted by water for easy cleaning by photocatalytic hydrophilicity (water attracting surface).

What are the molecular details in the decomposing reaction?

  • When TiO2 is energized, TiO2 produce electrons (e–) and holes (h+), which react with surrounding Oxygen (O2) and Water (H2O) in the air to produce activated oxygen (O2–) or Oxide ions.
  • Oxide ions break down organic stains/dirt molecules on the Hydrotect surface.
  • Weaken the adhesion of dirt/stain.

Does HYDROTECT work in self-cleaning without rain?
HYDROTECT surfaces are adhesion reducing and they also decompose organics, , so they will  resist dirt, dust and other contaminants from attaching to the surface, but some occurrences of rain will be needed to wash everything wasy.

 

Does the TiO2 dissolve in the reaction; does it lose its strength?
No, the TiO2 does NOT dissolve or lose its strength in the reaction. TiO2 stays on the surface permanently, unless it’s physically removed by purposeful scraping or abrasion. Normal/regular use will not affect the product. TiO2 does not break down in the reaction, as it is only a catalyst.

Is TiO2 harmful for human health?
No, TiO2 is not a harmful material. TiO2 is a popular material as an inorganic white pigment and has many uses. It is used not only in paint but also cosmetics and foods.

What is NOx?
NOx or Nitrogen Oxides are highly reactive and harmful air pollutants that are monitored and regulated by US EPA.

According to US EPA, common sources for NOx are combustion engines, factory, plants, Gas stoves, heaters, smoking.

http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides/

Why is NOx bad?

  • It is a main ingredient involved in the formation of ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory problems.
  • Reacts to form nitrate particles, acid aerosols, which also cause respiratory problems.
  • Contributes to formation of acid rain.
  • Contributes to nutrient overload that deteriorates water quality.
  • Contributes to atmospheric particles that cause visibility impairment most noticeable in national parks.
  • Reacts to form toxic chemicals.

What is Sox?
SOx or Sulfur Oxides are highly reactive and harmful air pollutants that are monitored and regulated by US EPA.
According to US EPA, common sources for SOx are:

  • Coal fired power generation
  • power plants
  • and other industrial facilities

Why is SOx bad?

  • It is a main ingredient involved in the formation of ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory problems.
  • Reacts to form sulfide particles, acid aerosols, which also cause respiratory problems.
  • Contributes to formation of acid rain.
  • Contributes to nutrient overload that deteriorates water quality.
  • Contributes to atmospheric particles that cause visibility impairment most noticeable in national parks.
  • Reacts to form toxic chemicals.

Validation

What testing has TOTO performed to validate the product claims?

Who did TOTO use as independent labs?

  • US — Georgia Institute of Technology (http://people.ce.gatech.edu/~mhbergin/index.htm)
  • TCNA — Third party lab used for independent testing of multiple properties
  • Japan — The third party labs certified by PIAJ (Photocatalyst Industry Association in Japan)
  • EU — Dresden University, Germany

Other FAQs

What material / dirt is HYDROTECT not so effective to?
Rust, efflorescence, mud adhesion, bird droppings and tree resins (thick, non-transparent or inorganic materials).

Hydrotect may not be effective in places under too much soil load such as under exhaust outlets.
Are there any special HYDROTECT maintenance instructions?
In most cases, Hydrotect surfaces can be cleaned with water only. If needed use very mild soap to clean the surface. Avoid using harsh/caustic detergents as they are harmful for the environment. Avoid cleaning methods/cleaners that scratch, abrade, or etch the surface.

The use of any surface coating applied over the Hydrotect surface will render the Hydrotect ineffective.  Sealers, waxes, or any other coating that puts a layer in between the Hydrotect surface and the contaminants that land on the surface must be avoided.  Grout releases are acceptable as they will be completely removed during the grouting process.  Grout hazes, especially epoxy or urethane hazes, will diminish the effectiveness of Hydrotect.

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